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                              Longer Life Expectancy for Men and Women


The report Measuring Ireland's Progress, 2007, published by the CSO today, shows the progress made in Ireland in important economic, social and environmental areas. As well as showing developments over time, the report benchmarks the situation in Ireland against the other EU Member States.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Life expectancy at birth was provisionally estimated at 81.5 years for Irish women and 76.7 years for Irish men in the period 2004-2006. In comparison with 2001-2003, men's life expectancy increased by 1.6 years and women's by 1.2 years, reducing the gap between men and women to 4.8 years in 2004-2006, the lowest it has been since the 1970-1972 period (Table 6.3).
  • In 2007, 41.3% of the population aged 25-34 had completed 3rd level education. This was the second highest rate across the EU and well above the EU 27 average of 29.1% (Table 5.7). Irish students aged 15 years had the second highest levels of reading literacy in 2006 (Table 5.9).
  • In 2006, Ireland had the second highest GDP per capita in the EU 27 at 45.4% above the EU average. However, based on GNI, Ireland was the fifth highest at 25.2% above the EU 27 average (Table 1.3).
  • The average value of a new housing loan in Ireland rose from €62,000 in 1997 to €229,200 in 2006. Mortgage interest rates declined over this period from 7.22% to 4.2% while the number of loans taken out for housing increased from 57,901 to 111,253 (Table 8.3).
  • The percentage of waste landfilled in Ireland decreased from 67.3% in 2004 to 63.9% in 2006. Glass and paper were the materials most likely to be recycled with 63.5% of glass waste and 55.3% of paper waste recycled in 2006 (Table 10.8).
  • An average of €2,673 (at constant 2005 prices) per person was spent on non-capital public expenditure on health care in Ireland in 2006. This represented an increase of over 72% on the 1997 level (Table 6.1).
  • Ireland's net official development assistance increased to 0.54% of GNI in 2006 from 0.42% in 2005. This was below the UN 2007 target of 0.7% of GNI (Table 4.12).
  • Over the period 1999-2007, the euro increased in value against the dollar by almost 29% and by 3.8% against sterling (Table 1.15).
  • The employment rate in Ireland rose from 59.7% in 1998 to 69% in 2007. The rate for women increased by over 12 percentage points over that period, while the rate for men rose by over 6 percentage points (Table 3.1). In 2006, Ireland had the eighth highest employment rate in the EU 27 (see Table 3.2).
  • Productivity in Ireland, measured as GDP per person employed, was the second highest in the EU 27 in 2006 (Graph 3.4).
  • Ireland had the sixth lowest unemployment rate in the EU in 2007 at less than two-thirds of the EU 27 average of 7.1% (Table 3.6).
  • 6.9% of persons in Ireland were in consistent poverty in 2006 (Table 4.6). 22.8% of unemployed persons were in consistent poverty (Graph 4.7).
  • The proportion of Irish people at risk of poverty, after pensions and social transfer payments were taken into account, was 18% in 2006. This was above the EU 25 average of 16%. The effect of pension transfers on reducing the at-risk-of-poverty rate was low in Ireland compared with other EU 27 countries (Table 4.4).
  • The pupil-teacher ratio at primary level in Ireland in the school year 2004/2005 was one of the highest in the EU 27 at 17.9. Eleven of the reporting EU member states had a pupil-teacher ratio of less than 13 at primary level (Table 5.4).
  • Early school leavers represented 12.3% of the 18-24 age group in Ireland in 2006 (Table 5.12). The unemployment rate for early school leavers in this age group was 23.4% in 2007 compared with an unemployment rate of 8.4% for all persons aged 18-24 (Table 5.10).
  • The population in Ireland increased by 17.2% to almost 4.34 million persons in the period 1998-2007 (Table 7.1). This was the highest rate of increase in the EU 27 (Graph 7.3). The rate of natural increase of the population in Ireland was 8.7 per 1,000 in 2006 compared to an EU 27 average of just 1.1 (Table 7.6).
  • Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions were at 125.5% of 1990 levels in 2006. This was 12.5 percentage points higher than the Kyoto 2008-2012 target for Ireland of 113% of 1990 levels (Graph 10.1).

Editor's note

Measuring Ireland's Progress 2007 is available on the CSO web site ( (PDF 481KB) (PDF 697KB) ‌)

For copies of the publications contact:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork
Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
Price: €5

For further information:

Gerry Brady at 01 498 4201 or Mark Manto at 01 498 4204.

10 June 2008

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