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Statistical Yearbook of Ireland 2005

This Yearbook presents a comprehensive picture of Ireland today. It provides detailed information, tables and graphs across a wide range of topics. These include the population, labour force, education, justice, the economy, agriculture, industry, services,
prices, housing and the environment.

Did you know that?


  • The number of divorced persons increased from 9,800 to 35,000 between  1996 and 2002.
  • The average age at marriage increased by 2 years between 1996 and 2002 for both brides and grooms.
  • By 2037 males can expect to live to 82 years and females to 87 years.
  • Most people are living in the county of their birth.
  • The most popular babies' names in 2004 were Sean and Emma.


  • The number of women in the labour force has increased. The female participation rate in 1985 was around 30% and in 2004 was over 49%.
  • In 2003 almost 23% of the population was at risk of poverty, while 9.4% was considered to be in consistent poverty.
  • In 2004 there were 20,784 days lost due to industrial disputes, the lowest number on record.
  • In 2004 the annual average number of persons on the Live Register was 166,013, of whom just under 32,000 were aged 25 and over.


  • National Debt as a percentage of GDP has fallen from 87.7% in 1990 to 25.5% in 2004.
  • The number of credit cards in issue rose to approximately 2m by year-end 2004.
  • The General Government Balance was a surplus of €2,117m in 2004 compared with a surplus of €224m in 2003.
  • The output of both industry (including building) and the distribution, transport and communications sector increased by more than 30% in the last five years.
  • In the last two years GNP in constant prices increased by an average of 4.6 per cent. In the seven year period (1997-2004) it grew on average annually by 5.9 per cent in real terms.


  • The number of new houses for which planning permission was granted increased by over 133% from 1997 to 2004.
  • Planning permissions granted for new apartments more than quadrupled from 1997 to 2004.
  • Between 1997 and 2003 public capital expenditure on housing more than trebled.
  • The average price of new houses for which loans were approved in 2004 was €249,191 for the State and €322,628 in Dublin.


  • Visits abroad by Irish residents are up 43% since 2000.
  • The South West was the most popular destination for domestic trips by Irish Residents, in each of the five years, 2000-2004.
  • The number of new private cars licensed for the first time in 2004 increased by 4.6% on the figure for 2003.
  • Driving tests conducted in 2003 totalled 156,415 - an overall pass rate of 55% was achieved.


  • The number of third level students increased by 105% between 1990/91 and 2003/04.
  • In 2004, 82% of first level school teachers were female.
  • 59% of new entrants to HEA institutions were female in 2003/2004.
  • At age 19, 61% of females and 44% of males were in full time education in 2003/2004.

CSO thanks all the other departments and bodies who have helped in supplying data for the Yearbook, including those in Northern Ireland who have provided material for the Appendix.

The full text of these results is available free of charge on the CSO website at:

The Yearbook 2005 may be purchased from:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork

Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2

or through any bookseller

For further information, contact: Eamonn Dorney (021 - 4535036) Fax 021 4535555


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