Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Ireland an expensive, educated and fertile EU state
Ireland an expensive, educated and fertile EU state, CSO finds
Report on country’s progress notes young population, low divorce rate and high debt
Prices in Ireland were 22.3 per cent above the European Union average in 2014, making the State the fourth most expensive place to live in the bloc, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said.
Prices in the Republic were 22.3 per cent above the European average in 2014, making the state the joint third most expensive place to live in the EU, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said.
Only Denmark and Sweden were more expensive than the Republic and Finland in 2014, which were tied in third, according to the Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2014 report.
However, the CSO noted the finding is an improvement on 2008 when price levels in the Republic were 30 per cent above the average and the second highest in the EU.
The report measures progress using indicators to provide an overall view of society, the economy, the environment, education and health.
It found almost half the population (49.8 per cent) was at risk of poverty in 2013 before pensions and social transfers were taken into account – the second highest in the EU – although the figure drops to 14.1 per cent with transfers included. Some 8 per cent of the population were in consistent poverty in 2014.
On crime, the number of reported sexual offences rose by 40 per cent between 2009 and 2014. There were decreases in dangerous or negligent acts (offences mainly concerned with drink driving) which were down by 53 per cent while public order and similar offences decreased by 43 per cent.
On jobs, the employment rate in 2014 was the eighth lowest in the EU and the unemployment rate was the eighth highest. The employment rate dropped sharply from 69.1 per cent in 2007 to 58.8 per cent in 2012 before rising to 63.1 per cent in 2015.
The number of men at work fell from 77.7 per cent in 2006 to 62.4 per cent in 2012 but has increased since then to 68.7 per cent in 2015. Women at work dropped from 60.6 per cent in 2007 to 55.2 per cent in 2012 before increasing to 57.6 per cent in 2015.
In terms of the gender pay gap, female employees were paid 14.4 per cent an hour less than male employees in 2012. This gave the Republic the eleventh lowest gender pay gap in the EU, when the average was 16.6 per cent.
The number of dwelling units built increased sharply to peak at almost 90,000 in 2006 before collapsing over the next seven years to stand at 8,300 in 2013. There was a small rise to just over 11,000 dwellings built in 2014, below the level in 1970.
The average value of a housing loan rose from €200,000 in 2005 to €270,200 in 2008 before dropping by a third to €180,500 in 2014.
The Republic has the second highest fertility rate in the EU, at 1.96 per woman, and just over a third of all Irish births are outside marriage, below the EU average of 40 per cent.
In terms of the age of the population, the Republic had the highest proportion of young people in the EU and the second lowest proportion of old people, while the overall population is increasing at the third highest rate in the EU.
Current public expenditure on health care as a proportion of Gross National Income increased strongly over the period 2004-2009, from 6.6 per cent to 9.7 per cent, before decreasing over the following four years to stand at 8.5 per cent in 2013.
An average of €2,538 per person was spent on current public expenditure on health care in 2004. This expenditure increased steadily to €2,993 per person in 2010. By 2013, however, current public expenditure on health care per person decreased to €2,848.
On education, nearly half the population aged 25-34 had completed third level, which was the fourth highest rate across the EU. The early school leavers rate was lower than the EU average in 2014, at 6.9 per cent of the population aged 18-24.