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Ireland, North and South: A Statistical Profile

The 2008 edition of Ireland, North and South: A Statistical Profile has been compiled and produced by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Ireland, North and South: A Statistical Profile presents comparable statistics for Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) across a range of policy areas including health, education, agriculture, environment and crime.

Some of the main statistics in the various chapters of the Profile are as follows:

Population and Vital Statistics

  • In RoI, the 2006 Census showed a population of 4,239,848. The estimated population for NI in 2006 was 1,741,619.
  • In 2006, the birth rate per 1,000 population was 15.2 in RoI and 13.4 in NI.
  • During the last two decades, the proportion of babies born to older mothers increased in both NI and RoI. Around 60 per cent of all births in RoI were to mothers aged 30 and over compared with 50 per cent in NI.
  • Death rates per 1,000 population were lower in RoI in 2006 at 6.5 compared with 8.3 in NI, reflecting the somewhat younger population structure in RoI.

Housing and Households

  • NI has a generally higher proportion of one or two person households at around 60 per cent compared with around 50 per cent in RoI. Conversely, RoI has a higher proportion of larger households containing five or more people at 15 per cent compared with around 10 per cent in NI.
  • Average house prices in RoI more than trebled between 1996 and 2006, while NI prices more than doubled during the same period.
  • In both RoI and NI, nearly three-quarters of households owned their home outright or through a mortgage.


  • Over the three year period, 2004-2006, RoI generally reported a decrease in the standardised death rates attributed to circulatory diseases, which decreased from 241 to 207 per 100,000. In NI, the standardised death rate due to circulatory diseases also fell over this period from 232 to 205, per 100,000.
  • A higher proportion of the population, aged 15 to 64, in NI have used an illegal drug in their lifetime compared with RoI. In NI, 28 per cent of the population have reported use of illegal drugs compared with 24 per cent in RoI.


  • Between 2000/01 and 2006/07, the total number of pupils in schools in RoI increased by 4,229. In NI pupil numbers decreased each year between 2001/01 and 2006/07, falling by 18,080 in total.
  • In 2006/07, there were approximately 16 pupils per teacher in first level schools in RoI compared with approximately 21 in NI.

Labour Market

  • Between Spring 1996 and Spring 2006, the employment rate rose from 58.1 per cent to 70.8 per cent in RoI and from 64.5 per cent to 68.8 per cent in NI.
  • Between 1996 and 2006, the unemployment rate in RoI fell from 12.1 per cent to 4.5 per cent. In NI, it fell from 9.7 per cent to 4.4 per cent.


  • Between 1996 and 2006, the estimated Gross Value Added (GVA) for RoI rose by over 186 per cent to €152.6 billion. Estimated GVA for NI increased by almost 71 per cent to £26.4 billion.
  • Between 1996 and 2006, Gross Value Added (GVA) per person in RoI increased by over 145 per cent to €35,986. In NI, the increase was to a lesser extent and GVA per person increased by nearly 63 per cent to £15,175 between 1996 and 2006.


  • Between 2005 and 2006, both RoI and NI reported an increase in tourism. RoI reported a 10 per cent increase in visitor numbers with a corresponding 10 per cent increase in tourist expenditure, while NI reported a slight increase in tourist numbers but with 4 per cent increase in expenditure.
  • In NI, the main reason for inward visits in 2006 was visits to friends and families, which accounted for over 46 per cent of total visits. Holidays, leisure and recreation was the most common reason for inward visits by tourists to RoI in 2006, accounting for 49 per cent of total visits.

Transport and Environment

  • When compared to 1998, the number of passenger journeys by rail in 2006, was 34 per cent higher in RoI and 48 per cent higher in NI.
  • In the ten years from 1997 to 2006, both NI and RoI have recorded large increases in the volume of air passenger traffic (increases of 96 per cent and 116 per cent respectively).
  • In 1992, NI had 304 cars per 1,000 population and this increased by 46 per cent to 443 cars in 2005. In 1992, the RoI had 242 cars per 1,000 population and this rate increased by 66 per cent to 402 cars per 1,000 population in 2005.



  • In RoI, cattle and milk products accounted for around three-quarters of the total estimated value of output of livestock and livestock products. In NI, around two thirds of the total can be attributed to cattle and milk products.
  • Between 1991 and 2005, the total agricultural labour force decreased by 21 per cent in RoI and 20 per cent in NI.
  • Along with this decrease in the agriculture labour force, many farmers are now engaged in other gainful activities outside of farming. In 2005, 44 per cent of farmers in RoI had engaged in other gainful activity, whilst in NI the figure stood at 37 per cent.


  • Between 2006 and 2007, there were significant increases in certain types of crime in RoI. These included fraud, deception and related offences (up by 40 per cent), and controlled drug offences (up by 30 per cent).
  • Between 2005-06 and 2006-07, there were reductions in most types of offences recorded in NI. Although remaining relatively few in number, the largest proportionate increase (36 per cent) was in the number of drug trafficking offences recorded.
  • Within both jurisdictions cannabis resin accounted for both the largest number of drug seizures and for the largest quantity of drugs seized. In RoI there were 3,587 seizures in 2006 (6,972 kg of cannabis resin) and in NI, there were 1,438 seizures in 2006-07, (3,684 kg of cannabis resin).
  • In 2006 the rate of prisoners in custody per 100,000 of the population was 75 for RoI and 82 for NI.
  • Within both jurisdictions, the majority of sentenced prisoners in custody at the end of September 2007 had received sentences of up to 5 years.

Notes to Editors

1 This, the fourth edition of Ireland, North and South: A Statistical Profile, has been updated to provide more recent information and introduce new data and areas for comparison

2 The Profile is available, at a cost of £10, from:

Regional Reporting and EU Programmes Branch,
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, McAuley House, 2-14 Castle Street, Belfast BT1 1SA.
Tel: (028) 90 348127
Fax: (028) 90 348126

And at a cost of €12 (excluding postage and packaging) from:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork
Tel: (021) 453 5011
Fax: (021) 453 5555
Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 6476879
Fax: (01) 6725449

It can also be downloaded, without charge, from the NISRA website:
and from the CSO website:

3 Further information can be obtained from:

Communications Office, Department of Finance and Personnel,
Craigantlet Buildings, Stormont Estate, Stoney Road, Belfast, BT4 3SX
Tel: (028) 90 527374
Fax: (028) 90 527149


Information Section, Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork
Tel: (021) 453 5021
Fax: (021) 453 5555

Information on other statistical publications by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is available on the NISRA website:

Information on other statistical publications by the Central Statistics Office is available on the CSO website:


30th July 2008


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