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Land Use

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Show Table: 4.1 Ireland: Land use categories 1990-2014

GrasslandForest LandCroplandWetlandSettlementOther Land
199062.15894582935176.76446731947919.8202773996660518.25248375756561.380028586330811.62379710760678
199561.74306210360178.094615721391499.6845970035472217.48712587835961.407331749327561.58326754377248
200061.41650878093869.100211304790659.5774499551395516.89604195826041.454797328367221.55499067250359
000000
200561.1111921784439.875902594771429.5018078619772816.44891649689021.535686404369721.52649446354846
200661.0482229256749.960788451846689.4972162685240816.39682010872741.556740830192721.54021141503507
200760.995043614141910.03917945603679.4933782344344216.35580251378471.584035704122731.53256047747956
200860.9516330424910.09892535322119.4897763962267916.31501815065941.613310697036241.53133636036651
200960.90678497643710.18115238429069.4859816077498616.27597249778741.626043047592941.52406548614228
201060.854333472650910.28680799065539.4812419439152916.22075480168821.641874014502311.51498777658802
201160.828614829960310.35785906584319.4781561093765516.18167120322121.645461500948251.50823729065053
201260.792094425832910.44014501320099.4744882623230716.13158249677261.659816369078831.50187343279171
201360.757796645959910.52624786425169.4715817388064716.08535947111921.663396535806441.49561774405635
201460.723334249813710.61006127614489.4687478640097316.0355318573991.666739095945691.49558565668701
  • Grassland accounted for between 61% and 62% of total land use in Ireland between 1990 and 2014. The area under forest increased from 7% in 1990 to 11% in 2014. Land under settlement was 2% in 2014.
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X-axis labelPrivatePublicCumulative afforested area
1922-0.404686266971530.40468626697153
1923-0.3880941300256980.792780396997228
1924-0.475911049958521.26869144695575
1925-0.8943566500070822.16304809696283
1926-1.235507173064083.39855527002691
1927-1.176827664353214.57538293438012
1928-1.390502013314185.9658849476943
1929-1.394953562250867.36083850994516
19300.06070294004572951.241982153335638.66352360332652
19310.06920135165213171.4427065417535110.1754314967322
19320.05058578337144131.475486129378211.7015034094818
19330.05179984217235590.89718945387588312.65049270553
19340.05179984217235591.4791283057809414.1814208534833
19350.06394043018150181.8850286315533916.1303899152182
19360.06110762631270112.2241557232755318.4156532648065
19370.07001072418607472.0392140992695420.5248780882621
19380.06677323405030252.1063920195868222.6980433418992
19390.06353574391453031.9631330810788924.7247121668926
19400.04289674429898221.6134841464154926.3810930576071
19410.03520770522652311.1780417231541227.5943424859877
19420.06474980271544490.9995750794196828.6586673681229
19430.1578276441188971.1023653912304529.9188604034722
19440.04815766576961211.0699904898727331.0370085591145
19450.0335889601586370.96558143299407132.0361789522673
19460.0534185872402420.69201351652131732.7816110560288
19470.06151231257967260.99390947168207833.8370328402906
19480.08296068472916371.7502681046518735.6702616296716
19490.09429190020436661.8202788288379437.5848323587139
19500.04249205803201074.1241577467068741.7514821634528
19510.1015762530098544.9472896137269646.8003480301896
19520.1622791930555844.1241577467068751.086784969952
19530.1525667226482674.1994293923635755.4387810849639
19540.1857509965399324.8566398899253460.4811719714292
19550.182513506404165.3013900973270565.9650755751604
19560.2557617207260076.1617531009085272.3825903967949
19570.1728010359968437.3102527265737279.8656441593655
19580.2533336031241788.3547479816272488.4737257441169
19590.3642176402743779.3288278262277298.166771210619
19600.5301390097327059.82861536593756108.525525586289
19610.4326096193925669.21146880880597118.169604014488
19620.528924950931798.86020112907469127.558730094494
19630.3682645029440939.24303433762975137.170028935068
19640.4188502863155348.77764513061249146.366524351996
19650.4265393253879938.3369417858805155.130005463265
19660.2505007992553776.95898504684244162.339491309362
19670.3508629934643178.13257522105987170.822929523887
19680.2869225632828157.86386353979078178.97371562696
19690.2967.86831508872746187.138030715688
19700.3437.743195.224030715688
19710.3838.003203.610030715688
19720.2469.135212.991030715688
19730.2469.451222.688030715688
19740.1789.15232.016030715688
19750.2178.961241.194030715688
19760.1998.36249.753030715688
19770.1568.178258.087030715688
19780.1798.074266.340030715688
19790.1347.588274.062030715688
19800.2685.922280.252030715688
19810.2756.099286.626030715688
19820.4986.016293.140030715688
19830.3275.698299.165030715688
19840.4735.192304.830030715688
19850.7644.625310.219030715688
19862.5594.689317.467030715688
19873.2155.395326.077030715688
19884.5957.112337.784030715688
19898.4976.629352.910030715688
19909.1476.67368.727030715688
199111.2927.855387.874030715688
19929.1347.565404.573030715688
19939.1716.827420.571030715688
199412.8376.622440.030030715688
199517.3436.367463.740030715688
199616.5554.426484.721030715688
199710.5830.851496.155030715688
199810.0022.926509.083030715688
199911.7770.891521.751030715688
200014.2311.464537.446030715688
200115.1470.317552.910030715688
200214.7350.319567.964030715688
20038.9690.128577.061030715688
20049.6170.122586.800030715688
200510.0320.064596.896030715688
20068.0120.025604.933030715688
20076.9470611.880030715688
20086.1820.067618.129030715688
20096.613110.0347624.776840715688
20108.310190.0039633.090930715688
20116.590720.0624639.744050715688
20126.591730.06029646.396070715688
20136.249010.00305652.648130715688
20146.156410658.804540715688
20156.284280.00853665.097350715688
  • From 1922 to 1989, afforestation in Ireland was predominantly carried out by the public sector. Since then, private afforestation has dominated, and since 1999, has accounted for over 90% of annual afforestation. In 2015 almost 100% of afforestation was carried out by the private sector.
  • Since 1922 665,000 hectares of land have been afforested in Ireland.
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% of total land cover
Finland73.1119813090263
Sweden68.4156654400117
Slovenia61.9662363455809
Lativa53.972338372467
Estonia49.3510513631238
Austria46.933947958998
Slovakia40.3326403326403
Spain36.9244186046512
EU35.4992284121139
Portugal35.2567724779791
Bulgaria35.2155490051584
Lithuania34.7826086956522
Czech Republic34.544653957729
Luxemburg33.5135135135135
Germany32.7558016121167
Italy31.6073978377643
France31.0210714676989
Poland30.8111815034942
Greece30.2792862684251
Romania29.8278410572994
Belgium22.5708435167448
Hungary22.2397781503934
Cyprus18.6864315083315
Denmark14.4284704218713
United Kingdom12.9954945645435
Netherlands11.1407407407407
Ireland10.9449847583103
Malta0.9375
  • Forestry accounted for 10.9% of Ireland’s total land area in 2015. In contrast, 35.5% of the total land area in the EU in 2015 was under forest cover. Ireland ranked second lowest among EU member states in terms of the proportion of land area under forest cover.
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Show Table: 4.4 Ireland: Planting period in public forestry 1920-2015

hectares
<19204.938
1920-19290.325
1930-19391.935
1940-19492.858
1950-19596.489
1960-196913.699
1970-197942.544
1980-198967.725
1990-1999104.958
2000-200991.719
2010-201529.582
  • Some 377,000 hectares of public forestry were planted since records began. Planting peaked in the decade 1990-1999 at 105,000 hectares.
  • A total of 10,000 hectares or 2.7% of public forest land is currently either unstocked or being restocked.
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Show Table: 4.5 Ireland: Organic agricultural land 1997-2014

  • The amount of organic agricultural land in Ireland has increased by almost 180% between 1997 and 2014, when it accounted for 53,000 hectares.
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% of total agricultural land
Austria19.3146404878818
Sweden16.5420554576012
Estonia15.7968062996731
Czech Republic13.5825597814101
Italy10.8867590332667
Latvia10.6742751847986
Finland9.13214299951719
Slovakia8.76625596205321
Slovenia7.95969202898551
Greece7.89836064223621
Portugal7.45641327002765
Spain6.91035964467288
Denmark6.46338390586942
Germany6.35147111484241
Lithuania5.81319353429445
Belgium4.78087009710223
Poland4.59376802150193
France3.82400070945942
Cyprus3.58821915302296
Luxembourg3.39438339438339
United Kingdom3.32092509608877
Hungary3.01280784792076
Netherlands2.67513544818329
Croatia2.5866216904277
Romania2.20790680039982
Bulgaria1.21022846994371
Ireland1.15681768439483
Malta0.340073529411765
  • Land used for organic farming in Ireland accounted for 1.2% of total agricultural land in 2013 – the second lowest percentage of agricultural land given over to organic farming in the EU. Austria, with 19.3% had the highest percentage of agricultural land farmed organically in the EU in 2013.
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Show Table: 4.7 Ireland: Fertiliser sales 1980-2015

X-axis labelNitrogen Phosphorous
2005352.16538.645
2006345.15437.209
2007321.58832.415
2008308.9626.35
2009306.80620.231
2010362.39529.339
2011295.79528.775
2012296.53627.421
2013353.0237.261
2014331.78235.584
201533137
  • Sales of nitrogen and phosphorous fertiliser in Ireland increased from 315,000 tonnes in 1980 to 491,000 tonnes in 1995. Sales then fell between 1995 and 2009, when 327,000 tonnes were sold. Since 2009 sales fluctuated between 324,000 and 392,000 tonnes and were 368,000 tonnes in 2015.
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tonnes per 1,000 hectares agricultural land
Portugal31.3083021427453
Latvia33.0746863217093
Romania44.7382590945821
Greece52.17469187404
Austria56.9491251939022
Cyprus57.852373547974
Italy63.4287938810916
Spain65.1406295734547
Sweden65.6285701078379
Estonia67.0854612484465
Slovenia70.8806818181818
Bulgaria74.0377214068554
Lithuania76.467627785059
United Kingdom80.4412918215016
Slovakia81.6955106462419
Finland81.9385816099184
Hungary83.7290508791973
Ireland94.741554002964
Denmark96.1406308459383
France101.287301144977
Czech Republic107.961403076641
Poland115.098887082257
Germany 130.466694371954
Netherlands136.720665522822
  • Ireland had the 7th highest consumption of fertilisers of EU Member States where data were available in 2013, at 94.7 tonnes per 1,000 hectares of agricultural land. The highest consumption in the EU was the Netherlands at 136.7 tonnes per 1,000 hectares of agricultural land.
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Show Table: 4.9 Ireland: Cattle, sheep and pigs June 1980-2015

X-axis labelCattleSheepPigs
20056.99186.39221.6877
20066.97785.97321.6432
20076.89095.52161.5878
20086.90215.06141.462
20096.89074.7781.3852
20106.60664.74541.5163
20116.4934.831.549
20126.75415.171.5709
20136.90265.0071.5525
20146.92615.09681.5553
20156.96355.13871.5369
  • Cattle numbers in Ireland fluctuated between 6.5 million and 7 million over the 1980-2015 period. In 2015 the total number was nearly 7 million. Sheep numbers have fluctuated more widely. In 1980 there were 3.3 million sheep in Ireland. The number peaked in 2000 at 7.6 million and in 2015 there were 5.1 million sheep in the country. Pig numbers increased from 1 million in 1980 to a peak of 1.8 million in 2002 before stabilising at around 1.5 million animals in subsequent years.
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Show Table: 4.10 EU: Cattle and pigs December 2015

  • In December 2015, Ireland had 7.2% of the total cattle population of the EU and 1% of the total pig population.
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Show Table: 4.11 Ireland: Dwelling completions 1970-2014

Local AuthorityVoluntary and co-operativePrivate
19703.767010.12
19758.794018.098
19805.984021.801
19856.523017.425
19901.003018.536
19952.961.01126.604
20002.2040.95146.657
000
20054.2091.3575.398
20063.9681.2488.211
20074.9861.68571.356
20084.9051.89644.923
20093.3622.01121.076
20101.3280.74112.533
20110.4860.7459.295
20120.3630.6537.472
20130.2930.2117.797
20140.1580.35710.501
  • Total dwelling completions in Ireland increased from 13,900 in 1970 to 93,400 in 2006, before falling sharply to 8,300 in 2013. Total dwelling completions rose in 2014 to 11,000.
  • The percentage of dwelling completions by Local Authorities fell from 27% in 1970 to just 1% in 2014. The percentage of Voluntary and Cooperative dwelling completions rose from 0% in 1970 to peak at 8% in 2012. In 2014 3% of all dwelling completions were in this sector.
  • Private sector dwelling completions increased from 73% in 1970 to 94% in 2006 – the peak year for dwelling completions. This declined to 80% in 2009 before rising again to 95% in 2014.
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Show Table: 4.12 EU: Dwellings completions 2006-2015

2011-20152006-2010
Hungary4.8901597479217115.8212723384607
Germany12.018431010529810.1575103945314
United Kingdom10.879220109710713.7840829809633
Slovakia13.881605025790915.6033957560564
Czech Republic12.483076645905617.9051326780505
Italy9.8879785208631422.1123538690155
Portugal8.9406671281600624.9966859949571
Denmark12.606336344954521.4501539500424
Sweden17.022203104208417.7632459933057
Netherlands15.256059776651519.8763452863706
Poland18.768298297049818.6169400582246
Belgium20.560585082918824.2798201684969
Austria24.49652759760525.6860603221353
Finland26.912563208078427.9396593399501
France29.935962848780130.4441515413416
Spain9.3739398740887560.1481097266017
Ireland11.073624655385560.9925074735469
  • Ireland and Spain had the highest levels of dwelling completions per 1,000 population in the European Union over the period 2006-2015, despite both countries showing large falls since 2006.
  • In 2006-2015 , there were 72.1 house completions per 1,000 population in Ireland.

 

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