A new report says that migrants stand to enhance Ireland's productive potential because they are largely more educated than their Irish counterparts.

The NCB report says that 60% of the Irish population increase in the four years from 2002 to 2006 came from migration.

The report also says over half of these migrants were in the key demographic for working and household formation, the 25 to 44 age-group.

The report was written by Brian Devine, economist at NCB, who said immigrants contribute to the economy by increasing the labour force and bolstering demand for housing.

He said there was little evidence to suggest that patterns of migration have changed as the Irish economy slows.

Figures from January to October 2007 show that 116,000 new PPS numbers were given to migrants in Ireland from the 2005 EU accession countries.