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Press Statement


20 October 2017

Press Release Statistical Yearbook of Ireland 2017

  • How many births and weddings were there in 2016?
  • What is the most popular birthday?
  • How many people have never used the internet?
  • How are business and the economy improving?
  • What are the most popular motors?

    The answers to these questions and many more can be found in the Statistical Yearbook of Ireland 2017, published today (20th October 2017) by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to mark European Statistics Day. The Yearbook presents a statistical picture of Ireland and is compiled mainly from the data published by the CSO for the most recent full year (2016). The book is produced in electronic format only, which makes it more interactive and provides easier access to more detailed data when it is required. This year’s edition includes information on Census 2016. We have also included an appendix on Northern Ireland for the first time in four years. The CSO would like to thank all who have contributed to this publication, particularly our data providers, whose cooperation is so vital to our work. 


    Highlights for Editors



    There were 63,897 births registered in 2016, 2,012 fewer than 2015.  Of these, 23,348 births were registered as being outside marriage, accounting for 36.5% of all births.

    Over 65% of the 63,897 births registered in 2016 were to women aged between 30 and 39.

    295 children were born in 2016 to mothers aged 45 years and over.

    There were 22,626 marriages in 2016, 510 more marriages registered than 2015 and includes 1,056 same-sex marriages.

    Data from 2008-2014 shows that the 1st of October is the most popular birthday, 191 babies were born on average on that date. Aside from February 29th, the least popular birthdays was December 29th, 28th, 27th, March 17th, January 1st and December 23rd.

    Check out your birthday on our Interactive zone visualisation tool: How popular is your birthday

    There were 1,218,370 families in the State on Census Night, a rise of 51 per cent since 1996.

    The average number of children per family was 1.38 in 2016 while in 1996 the average number of children per family was 1.82.

    The number of persons' in employment increased to 2,014,900 in 2016.

    The overall unemployment rate decreased from 13.9% in 2010 to 8.6% in 2016. The number of persons unemployed in 2010 was 305,100 compared with 187,800 in 2016.

    The number of person’s unemployed decreased by 11.1% between 2015 and 2016.



    94% of households in the Dublin region had internet access in the first quarter of 2017; while in contrast, 83% of households in the Border region indicated they had internet access.

     16% of people in 2017 has never used the internet. Of these 17% were male and 14% were female. Of individuals aged 60-74, 46% have never used the internet, in contrast to 4% of those aged 16-29.

     In 2016, 36.4% of those aged 15 to 64 years had a third level qualification. 72.9% of all persons between 15 and 64 years attained education levels of higher secondary level or above.  8.7% of people aged 15 to 64 years had a primary level education only.

    The number of students in first level education totalled 557,107 in 2015/16, with 8,565 more students than 2014/2015.

     There were 188,178 full-time third level students in 2015/16, a 910% increase since 1965/66.

    The at risk of poverty rate was 16.9% in 2015, a marginal decrease on the 2014 rate of 17.2%.

    The deprivation rate for those at risk of poverty was 51.5% in 2015 compared with 51.2% in 2014 and a low of 29.1% in 2008.



    In terms of enterprises using social media, Ireland at 64% ranked second in the EU 28. Malta ranked first at 71%. The EU average was 45%.

    The volume of retail sales in All businesses increased by 6.7% when compared to 2015 with the volume of retail sales of Motor trades increasing by 10.3%.

    In 2016, there was an annual increase of 21.8% in the number of new houses built and an annual increase of 39.4% apartments granted planning permissions.

    Output in total building and construction increased by 18.3% in 2016 when compared to 2015. However between 2006 and 2016, the volume of output in building and construction had decreased by 66.1%. 

    In 2014, the business economy in Ireland was worth €516bn and generated €45bn in wages and salaries employing 1,396,096 persons in 238,249 enterprises.

    SMEs accounted for 99.8% of all enterprises and 69% of persons engaged.



    Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 5.1% in constant prices between 2015 and 2016. Gross National Product (GNP) increased by 9.6% over the same period. 

    Government revenue increased from €57.7bn in 2011 to €72.6bn in 2016. In the same period expenditure decreased from €79.6bn to €74.6bn.

    The gross debt of General Government stood at €200,592 million at the end of 2016, or 72.8% of GDP. The increase in GDP in 2016 coupled with the decrease in GG Debt contributed to the decrease in the debt to GDP ratio.

    In 2016 total exports of merchandise and services amounted to €335bn. The largest trading partner for exports was the USA (€63.7bn) followed by the UK with exports of €42.9bn, Germany €23.9bn, China €22.1bn and Belgium €19.6bn.  

    In 2016, total imports of merchandise and services amounted to €274.4bn. The top 5 countries accounted for 52.8% of imports. The largest trading partner for imports was USA (€47.1bn); imports from the UK were €33.3bn and from Netherlands were €22bn.

    The amount owed by households to Irish banks continued to decline in 2016 standing at €88.2bn at year end compared to €92bn in 2015 and €110.3bn in 2011.

    2016 represented the highest level of both exports and imports on record. The value of exports rose from €1.8bn in 1975 to €117.6 in 2016 while the value of imports rose from €2.2bn to €72.1bn in the same period.

    The Trade in Goods balance (exports minus imports) changed from a deficit of €326 million in 1975 to a surplus of €45,521 million in 2016.

    The EU accounted for €60,083 million or 51% of total goods exported in 2016. Of this Great Britain and Belgium were the main EU export markets accounting for 11% and 12% respectively. The USA however was the main non EU destination accounting for 26% of total exports.

    Over the period 2007 to 2016, the All Items CPI increased by 3.1%.  

    From 2007 to 2012 Dublin residential property prices fell faster than property prices outside the capital, declining 57.7% However, they also recovered faster, increasing 57.5% from 2012 to 2016.  In contrast, residential property prices outside the capital declined by 48.2% between 2007 and 2012. They fell a further 6.9% in 2013, but recovered 34.1% of their value between the low point in 2013 and 2016.

    The total number of residential property transactions in 2016 was 40,150 with a combined value of €9,933.7 million. The median value of dwellings sold nationally in 2016 was €196,000.

    Check out the median house prices by Eircode on our interactive map.

    Average annual earnings were €45,611 for full time employees in 2016 while part time employees earned €16,597 on average.


    Tourism & Transport

    In 2016, 9.6 million overseas trips were made by non-residents to Ireland, an increase of 10.9%.  Residents of Great Britain took over 3.9 million trips to Ireland during 2016, an increase of 377,000 trips (10.6%) compared to 2015.

    The number of overseas trips to Ireland for holiday/leisure/recreation increased by 9.7% between 2015 and 2016. Excluding fares expenditure by overseas trips to Ireland increased by 8.8% to €4,577 million in the same period.

    Over 7.6 million outbound trips were undertaken by Irish residents in 2016, while spending €6.5bn, with 67.9% of this spent in the EU.

    Irish residents took almost 9.3 million domestic trips in 2016. Total expenditure by Irish residents on domestic trips for 2016 amounted to €1.8 bn with spending on holidays increasing in 2016 to €1.1 bn, up 5%.

    There were 141,931 new private cars licensed in 2016 up 17.2%, with Volkswagen the most popular make.  This was the highest number of new cars licensed since 2008. You can find out Ireland’s most popular motors on the CSO’s new interactive tool - Ireland's Top Motors

    In 2016, a total of 12,880 vessels arrived at Irish ports, up 5.2% and handling 50.7 million tonnes of goods.

    In 2016, 32.7 million passengers, up 10.4%, passed through Ireland's five main airports in over 247,000 flights

    Dublin accounted for 82.7% of these (204,600), while Cork handled 8.0% (19,900).



    The area under potatoes in 2016 was only 9,000 hectares compared to 345,000 hectares in 1856.

    In June 2016 there were 7.22 million cattle, 5.18 million sheep and 1.59 million pigs, while in 2016 1.5m cattle, 3.3m pigs and 2.9m sheep were slaughtered.

    Operating surplus in agriculture in 2016 shows an annual increase of 3.6% to €2,588m in 2016.


    Appendix 1 – Northern Ireland

    For the first time in four years we have included information provided by NISRA. The tables have been put in the same categories as the CSO. So if you would like to see what the most popular baby names or most unusual baby names as well as information on population, migration, tourism, business, the economy and agriculture you can find the information here.


    For further information contact:

    The Press Office (+353) 21 453 5036

    or email

    -- ENDS --