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When Ernest Ravenstein published his 'laws of migration' in 1885, he illustrated his findings with a series of maps. Most of the maps show where internal migrants in the United Kingdom lived: these included maps of 'the national element', 'the Irish element', 'the Scotch element' and 'the English element'. Ravenstein drew attention to the gender dimension of migration in 1885, suggesting that there were differences in the likelihood of migration and in the distance migrated between men and women. This chapter shows how Censuses may be used, in Ireland and elsewhere, to highlight situations where people's experiences and opportunities may be restricted or limited because of their status as immigrants. In Ireland, the Census offers three possible identifiers of migrancy. These are nationality, place of birth and living outside Ireland for at least a year. In general, records of migrant stock are more comprehensive than records of migrant flows.

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