Population distribution (1.1)
The total population of the country may comprise either all of the usual residents of the country (de jure) or all persons present in the country on a particular date (de facto). Data on the population of Ireland are on a de facto basis prior to 2006 and on de jure basis for years from 2006 to 2014. The difference between the two concepts in 2006 and 2011 (years in which a Census of Population was conducted) was very small.
Migration (1.3 to 1.4)
Emigration refers to persons resident in Ireland leaving to live abroad for over one year.
Immigration refers to persons coming to Ireland from another country for the purposes of taking up residence for over one year.
Net migration is the net effect of emigration and immigration on a country’s population in a given time period, i.e., the number of immigrants less emigrants.
The natural increase is calculated by subtracting deaths from births within a population in a given time period. The figures for births include babies born in Ireland to non-residents and immigrants.
Country of origin refers to a person’s previous country of residence.
Rest of EU 15 refers to those EU member states before enlargement on 1 May 2004 (excluding Ireland and the United Kingdom); namely Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Portugal.
EU13 is defined as the ten accession countries who joined the EU on 1 May 2004 (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), along with Bulgaria and Romania who joined on 1 January 2007 and Croatia who joined on 1 July 2013.
The data relating to Australia and Canada are included with the 'Rest of World' for the years up to 2007 inclusive.
Age of population (1.5)
The young age dependency ratio is calculated by dividing the number of persons in the population aged between 0 and 14 years by the number of persons aged between 15 and 64 years. The old age dependency ratio is calculated by dividing the number of persons aged 65 and over by the number of persons aged 15-64.
The total age dependency ratio is the sum of persons aged 0-14 and 65 and over divided by the number of persons aged 15-64.
The total fertility rate refers to the total period fertility rate (TPFR) which is derived from the age specific fertility rates in the current year. It represents the projected number of children a woman would have if she experienced current age specific fertility rates while progressing from age 15-49 years. A value of 2.1 is generally considered to be thereplacement rate, i.e., the rate at which the population in a developed country would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.
Divorce rate (1.7)
The divorce rate is the number of divorces in a given year per 1,000 population.
Risk of poverty (1.8 to 1.11)
The at risk of poverty rate indicator is defined as the share of persons with an equivalised disposable income below the at risk of poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers). This share is calculated for the original income before pensions and social transfers and the original income after pensions and social transfers (total income). This indicator focuses on the relative risk of poverty in relation to the rest of the population in a country rather than the absolute risk of poverty. Hence a person classified as in poverty in one country would not necessarily be classified as in poverty in another country if they were at the same absolute income level.
The data in Table 1.8 is obtained from the EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). EU-SILC is carried out under EU legislation and commenced in Ireland in June 2003. The primary focus of the survey is the collection of information on the income and living conditions of different types of households. The survey also provides information on poverty, deprivation and social exclusion.
For Table 1.8, the EU definition of income is used. The key differences between the national and EU definitions of income are:
For EU at risk of poverty rates, the equivalised disposable income for each person is calculated as the household total net income divided by the equivalised household size according to the modified OECD scale (which gives a weight of 1.0 to the first adult, 0.5 to other persons aged 14 or over who are living in the household and 0.3 to each child aged less than 14).
In Tables 1.9 to 1.11 the national equivalence scale and definition of income are used to calculate at risk of poverty rates. The national equivalence scale used to obtain the equivalised household size attributes a weight of 1 to the first adult in a household, 0.66 to each subsequent adult (aged 14+ living in the household) and 0.33 to each child aged less than 14. The purpose of an equivalence scale is to account for the size and composition of different income units (households) and thus allows for a more accurate comparison between households. However, numerous scales have been developed, and there is no real consensus as regards the most appropriate scale to use. For EU purposes, the modified OECD scale has been accepted to allow comparison across countries. At a national level, the alternative national scale has been used in the past in the calculation of relative poverty and consistent poverty rates, and thus is used for retrospective comparison nationally.
For all tables the population consists of all the persons living in private households in a country. The term person therefore includes all the members of the households, whether they are adults or children.
In the EU-SILC, income details and household composition are collected for all households. Where income is missing, it is imputed based on industry and occupation.
Consistent poverty (1.9 to 1.11)
The consistent poverty measure considers those persons who are defined as being at risk of poverty (using the national income definition and equivalence scale) and assesses the extent to which this group may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society. The identification of the marginalised or deprived is achieved on the basis of a set of eleven basic deprivation indicators:
An individual is defined as being in consistent poverty if they are:
Note that it is enforced deprivation that is relevant in this context. For example, a household may not have a roast dinner once a week. The household is classified as deprived of this basic indicator only if the reason they didn’t have the basic indicator was because they could not afford it.
Gender pay gap (1.12)
The unadjusted gender pay gap is published by Eurostat and represents the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees and of female paid employees as a percentage of average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees. From reference year 2006 onwards the gender pay gap is based on the methodology of the EU Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) which is carried out with a four-yearly periodicity. In Ireland the SES is known as the National Employment Survey (NES). The most recent available reference year for the SES is 2010 and Eurostat computed the gender pay gap for this year on this basis. For subsequent years countries provide to Eurostat gender pay gap estimates benchmarked on the SES results. The target population consists of all paid employees in enterprises with 10 employees or more in NACE rev.2 aggregate B to S (excluding O). This covers all economic sectors with the exception of Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Public administration and defence, Activities of households as employers and Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies.
Official development assistance (1.13)
Official development assistance, or foreign aid, consists of loans, grants, technical assistance and other forms of co-operation extended by governments to developing countries. A significant proportion of official development assistance is aimed at promoting sustainable development in poorer countries, particularly through natural resource conservation, environmental protection and population programmes.
The United Nations Millennium Development goals set a target for net ODA as 0.7% of donor countries Gross National Income to be reached by 2007.
Household Internet access (1.14)
Household Internet access data was collected in an Information and Communications Technology survey (ICT) that was asked of a sub-sample of the main CSO Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) sample.
A private household is defined as a person or group of persons with common housekeeping arrangements, separately occupying all or part of a private house, flat, apartment or other private habitation of any kind. The persons who make up a private household jointly occupy living accommodation, share main meals in general, and have common provision for basic living needs.
Each of the following is regarded as one private household:
Recorded crime and detection rates (1.15, 1.16)
The data on recorded crime and detection rates is supplied by Crime Section in the CSO and features data recorded on the Garda PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) and the FCPS (Fixed Charge Penalty System) systems which refer only to crime incidents known to An Garda Síochána and recorded as such. Data from the FCPS is not yet available for the year 2013 and thus complete information for 2013 is not available on recorded crimes or detection rates for dangerous or negligent acts, road and traffic offences and offences not elsewhere classified. The classification used is the Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS), full details of which are available via the CSO website page for Crime and Justice.
Gross Domestic Product (2.1 to 2.4)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the central aggregate of National Accounts. GDP represents the total value added (output) in the production of goods and services in the country. GDP at market prices is the final result of the production activity of resident producer units. GDP is compiled both in constant prices and in current prices. Constant price data indicate the development of volumes, while current price data reflect volume and price movements.
GDP expressed at market prices equals gross value added at factor cost plus national taxes on production less national subsidies on production.
GDP less net primary incomes from abroad less EU taxes plus EU subsidies is equal to Gross National Income (GNI).
Gross National Product (GNP) is the sum of GDP and Net Factor Income (NFI). NFI from the rest of the world is the difference between investment income (interest, profits, etc) and labour income earned abroad by Irish resident persons and companies (inflows) and similar incomes earned in Ireland by non-residents (outflows). Because NFI is the difference between two large gross flows, its magnitude can fluctuate greatly from one quarter to another. This can lead to significant differences between the GDP and GNP growth rate for the same quarter.
Gross National Income (GNI) is equal to Gross National Product (GNP) plus EU subsidies less EU taxes.
National accounts are complied in the EU according to the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA) framework. In 2014 the new ESA 2010 framework replaced the ESA 95 version. GDP and GNI are now calculated using ESA2010 by both Eurostat and the CSO.
The growth rate in GDP is the measurement of the volume changes in GDP, i.e., percentage changes in GDP in constant prices. Thus the growth rate is not affected by changes in prices.
Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) are a weighted average of relative price ratios in respect to a homogeneous basket of goods and services, both comparable and representative for each country. They show the ratio of the prices in national currency of the same goods or services in different countries. The application of PPPs eliminates the effects of differences in price levels between countries, thus allowing volume comparisons of GDP components and comparisons of price levels.
Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) are an artificial common reference currency used in the EU to eliminate differences in purchasing power, or price levels, between countries. They are fixed in a way that makes the average purchasing power of one euro in the European Union equal to one PPS. Hence one PPS buys the same average volume of goods and services in all countries. Economic volume aggregates in PPS are obtained by dividing their original value in national currency units by the respective PPPs.
The population of a country consists of all persons, national or foreign, who are permanently settled in the economic territory of the country on a particular date, even if they are temporarily absent from it (see also population domain definitions). GDP per capita is calculated by dividing GDP by the population.
GDP per capita in PPS allows the comparison of levels of economic activity of different sized economies (per capita) irrespective of their price levels (in PPS). It is less suited for comparisons over time.
Eleven countries joined the euro (€) on 1 January 1999: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Greece joined on 1 January 2001, Slovenia on 1 January 2007, Cyprus and Malta on 1 January 2008, Slovakia on 1 January 2009, Estonia on 1 January 2011 and Latvia on 1 January 2014 bringing the total number of euro members to 18 countries. Data in this publication for the Eurozone relate to these 18 member countries. On 1 January 2015 Lithuania joined the euro.
Government debt (2.5)
General government consolidated gross debt at nominal value is the standardised measure of indebtedness of EU governments. The general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, local government, and social security funds. The debt of commercial State companies/public corporations is excluded. It takes account of all liabilities included in the traditional national definition of National Debt, without any offsetting of liquid assets, together with the liabilities of non-commercial State agencies and Local Authorities.
Debt is valued at nominal (face) value, and foreign currency debt is converted into national currency using end-year market exchange rates.
GDP at current market prices is used as the denominator for calculating the General Government Consolidated Debt as a percentage of GDP ratio.
GNI at current market prices is used as the denominator for calculating the General Government Consolidated Debt as a percentage of GNI ratio.
Public balance (2.6)
Public balance (or General Government balance) measures the difference between incomes and outlays of the General Government. It refers to the concept of general government net borrowing (negative balance) or net lending (positive balance) in the European System of Accounts.
Central and Local Government current expenditure (2.7)
Central and Local Government current expenditure is composed of subsidies, national debt interest, transfer payments, and expenditure on goods and services. It is one of the elements of the public balance.
Gross fixed capital formation (2.8)
Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is an indicator of investment in assets such as building and construction, and machinery and equipment. Such investment is generally regarded as leading to higher productivity and an improved living infrastructure. GFCF is a component of GDP.
GDP valued at current market prices is used as a denominator.
Current account balance (2.9)
The Balance of Payments accounts consist of three tables or accounts: the Current account; the Capital account; and the Financial account.
The Current account consists of trade in merchandise and services, income inflows and outflows, and current transfers. In the current account, credit items are exports of merchandise and services, income inflows, and current transfer receivables. Debit items are imports, income outflows, and transfer payables.
The Current account balance is the total of all current account credits less the total of all current account debits.
Sign convention and symbols
The BOP presentation follows the standard double entry accounting treatment for a transaction as, in principle, every credit entry is matched by a corresponding debit entry elsewhere in the system.
In the current account, credit items are exports of merchandise and services, income inflows and current transfer receivables while debit items are imports, income outflows and transfer payables. Both credit and debit items are shown as positive numbers and the net balances are calculated as credit – debit.
International trade (2.10 and 2.11)
Goods and services incorporates both merchandise exports and imports and services exports and imports.
Merchandise trade refers to Ireland’s external trade in goods with other countries. The data sources for these estimates are a combination of customs-based non-EU trade statistics and the Revenue Commissioners Intrastat survey of Irish traders engaged in trade with other EU Member States.
Services exports and imports include transport, tourism and travel, communications, insurance and financial services, computer services, royalties and licences, and some business and other services.
The valuation of goods and services is based on Balance of Payments principles. In the official external trade statistics, exports and imports are valued at cost, insurance and freight. In Balance of Payments, they are valued free on board.
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (2.12)
The EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) is calculated in each Member State. HICPs are designed to allow the comparisons of consumer price trends in the different EU countries. The index measures the change in the average level of prices (inclusive of all indirect taxes) paid for consumer goods and services by all private households in a country and by all foreign visitors to that country.
HICPs were designed specifically for EMU convergence. They are calculated according to a harmonised approach and a regulated set of definitions. They were not intended to replace existing national Consumer Price Indices, which are calculated based on national definitions.
Price levels (2.13)
Comparative price levels are the ratio between PPPs and the market exchange rate for each country. If the index of the comparative price levels shown for a country is higher (lower) than 100, the country concerned is relatively expensive (cheap) as compared with the EU average.
See indicator 1.14 above in Appendix 1 for the definition of Private households.
Employment rate (2.14)
The International Labour Office (ILO) classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 or over:
Persons in employment are all persons:
Persons classified as unemployed are persons who, in the week before the survey:
The labour force comprises persons in employment plus persons unemployed.
The inactive population is all other persons in the population who are not part of the labour force.
The employment rate is calculated by dividing the number of employed persons aged 15-64 by the number of persons in the population aged 15-64. The Labour Force Survey (or the QNHS for Ireland) covers persons aged 15 years and over, living in private households.
Persons living in collective households (halls of residence, medical care establishments, religious institutions, collective workers' accommodation, hostels, etc.) and persons carrying out obligatory military service are not included.
Labour productivity (2.15)
GDP in PPS per person employed is intended to give an overall impression of the productivity of national economies. This measure depends on the structure of total employment and therefore could be lowered by a shift from full-time to part-time work. See section above on tables 2.1 to 2.4 for details of PPS.
GDP in PPS per hour worked is intended to give a clearer picture of productivity. Total hours worked represents the aggregate number of hours actually worked as an employee or self-employed during the accounting period. Total hours worked is the preferred measure of labour inputs for the system of national accounts. It is more difficult to measure than total employment. See section above on tables 2.1 to 2.4 for details of PPS.
Unemployment rate (2.16 and 2.17)
The unemployment rate is the number of people unemployed as a percentage of the labour force.
The long-term unemployment rate is calculated as the number of persons unemployed for one year or more expressed as a percentage of the total labour force.
Jobless households (2.18)
The proportion of the population aged 18-59 living in jobless households is calculated by dividing the number of persons aged 18-59 living in households where no one is working by the total population aged 18-59. Both the numerator and the denominator excludes persons living in households where everyone is aged 18-24 and either in education or inactive.
The definitions apply to persons living in private households.
There was a break in the series for data in this table as follows:
2009 - Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey
2010 - Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom
2011 - All countries except Turkey
2012 - All countries.
Dwelling completions (2.19)
Dwellings completed comprise units built for private sale, for Local Authority (LA) use, and voluntary housing completions. The LA figures exclude acquisitions of private units for social housing use. Social housing use comprises LA and voluntary housing. The house completions data series is based on the number of new dwellings connected by ESB Networks. These represent the number of homes completed and available, and do not reflect any work-in-progress. ESB Networks indicated that there was a higher backlog in work-in-progress in 2005 than usual (estimated as being in the region of 5,000 units). This backlog was cleared through the connection of an additional 2,000 houses in Q1 2006 and 3,000 houses in Q2 2006. The 2005 and 2006 completion figures have been amended for Table 2.19 accordingly.
In this table mortgage interest rates up to 2007 are calculated based on Building Societies mortgage loans and from 2008 onwards the average rate of all mortgage lenders reporting to the Central Bank is used. The data in Table 2.20 contain an unquantified element of refinancing of existing mortgages (e.g., involving the redemption of an existing mortgage and its replacement with a mortgage from a different lender).
Greenhouse gases (3.1)
This indicator shows trends in anthropogenic emissions of the greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and three halocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), weighted by their global warming potentials. The figures are given in CO2 equivalents.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialised countries have a legally binding commitment to reduce their collective greenhouses gas emissions by at least 5% compared with 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012. For EU countries, Member States agreed that some countries be allowed to increase their emissions, within limits, provided these are off-set by reductions in others and the EU Kyoto target of a reduction of 8% compared with 1990 is achieved by 2008/2012. Each country's emissions target must be achieved by that period. It will be calculated as an average over the five years.
Data are expressed as an index reference year (1990 or base year=100), original data refers to Gigagramme (Gg) = thousands tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Global warming potentials can be used to convert the emissions of individual gases into CO2 equivalents. The global warming potential of each gas takes account of the fact that different gases remain in the atmosphere for differing lengths of time. The conversion factors for the three main greenhouse gases are:
CO2 equivalents per tonne of gas emitted
Global warming potential over 100 years
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Nitrous oxide (N2O)
The EPA have continued to revise the data series for Ireland over time.
Energy intensity of the economy (3.2)
The energy intensity ratio is the result of dividing the Gross Inland Consumption of Energy by GDP. Since Gross Inland Consumption of Energy is measured in kgoe (kilogram of oil equivalent) and GDP in 1,000 euro, this ratio is measured in kgoe per 1,000 euro. It measures the energy consumption of an economy and its overall energy efficiency.
The Gross Inland Consumption of Energy is calculated as the sum of the Gross Inland Consumption of the five types of energy: coal, electricity, oil, natural gas and renewable energy sources. The GDP figures are taken at constant prices to avoid the impact of inflation.
Data are compiled through five annual Joint Questionnaires (one for each type of energy). The methodology is harmonised for all EU and OECD countries.
EU figures are calculated simply by the addition of national data.
Urban air quality (3.3)
The pollutants of most concern for urban air quality are particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide and, to a lesser extant, ozone. Information on measurements of PM10 reported by the Environmental Protection agency is presented in this report.
The main sources of anthropogenic PM10 in Ireland are the combustion of solid fuels for domestic heating and road traffic, in particular, emissions from diesel engines. Other particulates sources include dust from roads, industrial emissions, agricultural related activities and natural substances such as windblown sea salt.
PM10 are described as particles with a diameter of 10 microns or less. These are very small particles which can penetrate deep into the respiratory tract. Inhalation of these particles can increase the risk, frequency and severity of respiratory and cardiopulmonary disorders. PM10 in the atmosphere can result from direct emissions (primary PM10) or from emissions of gaseous precursors (oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and ammonia) which are transformed by chemical reaction in the atmosphere (secondary PM10).
The indicator target and limit values, as set in EU legislation, are as follows:
In Dublin the category the PM10 values are listed for Winetavern Street. The category “other towns” in this table are Athlone, Balbriggan, Bray, Carlow, Celbridge, Clonmel, Drogheda, Dundalk, Ennis, Galway, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mullingar, Naas, Navan, Newbridge, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford and Wexford. These are towns located in Zone C, (population greater than 15,000), and either have current monitoring insitu or have been assessed previously. In general, towns with similar population and with similar source effects from transport, industry and domestic heating tend to show similar air quality profiles. The data for “other towns” is from the following towns:
Legislation in Ireland forbids the sale of bituminous coal in the following urban areas:
Greenhouse gases (3.4)
The three main Greenhouse gases included in this publication are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities increase, they build up in the atmosphere and warm the climate. Because many of the major greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released, their warming effects on the climate persist over a long time and can therefore affect both present and future generations.
CO2 emissions are the result of burning fossil fuels such as coal, turf and petroleum for heat, power and transportation. Industrial processes such as cement and lime production also emit CO2.
N2O emissions arise from nitrogen fertilisers used in agriculture and a small amount of industrial processes.
CH4 emissions are caused by the digestive systems of ruminant animals, waste water treatment plants and landfill sites.
There are other greenhouse gases: Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs); Perfluorcarbons (PFCs); and Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6). The emissions from these gases are estimated to comprise around one per cent (in terms of CO2 equivalent) of the total greenhouse gas emissions for Ireland, and are included in the total of greenhouse gases in Table 1. Both HFCs and PFCs comprise several individual gases, which have separate global warming potential conversion factors.
Global warming potential
Greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide may be converted into CO2 using their global warming potentials.
CO2 equivalents per tonne of gas emitted
Carbon dioxide (CO2) = 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent
Methane (CH4) = 21 tonnes of CO2 equivalent
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) = 310 tonnes of CO2 equivalent
Air pollutants (3.5)
SO2 is a gas which is formed when sulphur containing fuels (mainly coal and oil) are burned in power stations. Exposure to high concentrations of SO2 can lead to breathing difficulties for people with long-term respiratory conditions such as asthma.
NOx are produced during combustion at high temperatures with the main sources in Ireland coming from vehicles and power stations. The industrial sector is also a significant contributor to NOx levels, particularly the cement production industry. Exposure to NOx is linked to adverse respiratory effects, and long-term exposure increases the risk of respiratory infection in children.
NH3 emissions arise primarily from animal manure and nitrogen based fertilisers. Exposure to high levels of ammonia may irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs.
CO is a colourless gas, formed from incomplete oxidation during combustion of fuel. Sources of CO in Ireland are mainly from automobiles, although tobacco smoke and poorly adjusted and maintained combustion devices, such as boilers, contribute also. CO concentrations tend to be higher in areas with heavy traffic congestion. CO enters the bloodstream through the lungs, where it impacts the body’s delivery of oxygen. Exposure in ambient air is most serious for people with cardiovascular diseases.
Waste management (3.6 and 3.7)
Municipal waste means household waste as well as commercial and other waste that, because of its nature or composition, is similar to household waste. Municipal waste consists of three main elements – household, commercial (including non-process industrial waste), and street cleansing waste (street sweepings, street bins and municipal parks and cemeteries maintenance waste, litter campaign material and fly tipped material). Municipal waste is a part of the overall amount of waste generated (e.g. industrial process waste is not municipal waste).
Recovery of waste means any operation the principal result of which is waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfill a particular function, or waste being prepared to fulfil that function, in the plant or in the wider economy. Recovery operations include material recovery (i.e., recycling), energy recovery (i.e., use as a fuel) and biological recovery (e.g., composting).
Landfill is defined as deposit on, in or under land, or specially engineered landfill, including placement into lined discrete cells which are capped and isolated from one another and the environment, or permanent storage, including emplacement of containers in a mine. The definition covers both landfill in internal sites (i.e. where a generator of waste is carrying out its own waste disposal at the place of generation) and in external sites.
The quantity collected is expressed in tonnes per year. Indicator data in Table 3.6 is measured in kg per person per year using population figures on 1 January of each year.
Passenger and Freight Transport (3.8 and 3.9)
Passenger cars are road vehicles intended for the carriage of passengers and designed to seat no more than nine persons including the driver.
Inland freight transport includes transport by road, rail and inland waterway. Road transport is based on all movements of vehicles registered in the reporting country on national territory. Rail and inland waterways transport are based on movements on national territory, regardless of the nationality of the vehicle or vessel.
Education expenditure (4.1 and 4.3)
Current public expenditure on education refers to gross voted current expenditure on education programmes from first to third level by the Department of Education and Skills (excluding FÁS). Expenditure not allocated by level is excluded from the total. Non-capital public expenditure on education includes direct public expenditure on educational institutions, public subsidies to other private entities for education matters and public subsidies to households such as scholarships and loans to students for tuition fees and student living costs.
The expenditure has been deflated to real prices by using the National Accounts series for net expenditure by central and local government on current goods and services from the 2013 National Income and Expenditure results. For comparison purposes, the all items CPI index to base mid-December 2006 is also shown in the table below:
Price index bases:
Government current expenditure
All items CPI index
Public expenditure on education as used for the international comparison includes both current and capital expenditure.
In the mid-1990s, undergraduate tuition fees were abolished in Ireland.
Educational institutions are defined as entities that provide instructional services to individuals or education-related services to individuals and other educational institutions. Second level includes further education (e.g., post-Leaving Certificate programmes). Incomplete data was available in 2006/2007 for part-time third level students so the numbers have been imputed by the Department of Education and Skills. Annualised 2013 student numbers are based on projected 2013/2014 data.
International data are collected through the joint UNESCO-OECD-EUROSTAT data collection questionnaires on educational finance. Countries provide data coming usually from administrative sources on the basis of commonly agreed definitions.
Data on total public expenditure on education are expressed as a percentage of GDP. National public expenditure as a percentage of the GDP is calculated using figures in national currency both for public expenditure and for GDP. European averages are weighted and therefore take into account the relative proportion of the student population or the education expenditure of the considered countries. They are calculated taking into account all relevant countries for which data are available. They are considered of sufficient quality if countries with available data exceed 70% of the population or of the GDP of the European aggregate. See Economy section notes for details of PPS. Data per pupil/student is based on full-time equivalents.
Pupil-teacher ratio and average class size (4.4 and 4.5)
Pupil-teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the number of full-time equivalent pupils at a given level of education by the number of full-time equivalent teachers teaching at that level. Data are collected through the joint UNESCO-OECD-EUROSTAT data collection questionnaires on educational personnel.
Average class size is calculated by dividing the number of pupils at a given level of education by the number of classes at that level. Data refer only to regular pupils/classes so special needs programmes are excluded. Data are collected through the joint UNESCO-OECD-EUROSTAT data collection questionnaires on class size.
EU aggregates are not currently available for these indicators due to difficulties in comparing data between countries as illustrated by the country specific notes.
The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is the basis for international education statistics.The 1997 version, ISCED 97, which is used for tables 4.4 and 4.5, incorporates 6 levels of education:
ISCED 97 level 0 - Pre-primary level of education: Initial stage of organised instruction, designed primarily to introduce very young children to a school-type environment. This level of education is centre or school based, designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of children at least 3 years of age and have staff that are adequately trained and qualified to provide an educational programme for these children.
ISCED 97 level 1 - Primary level of education:Programmes normally designed to give students a sound basic education in reading, writing and mathematics. This level represents the beginning to systematic studies characteristic of primary education. It is marked by entry into the nationally designated primary institutions or programmes.
ISCED 97 level 2 - Lower secondary level of education: The lower secondary level of education generally continues the basic programmes of the primary level, although teaching is typically more subject-focused. Programmes at the start of level 2 correspond to the point where programmes begin to be organised in a more subject-oriented pattern, using more specialised teachers conducting classes in their field of specialisation.
ISCED 97 level 3 - Upper secondary level of education: The final stage of secondary education in most countries. Instruction is often more organised along subject-matter lines than at ISCED level 2 and teachers need to have a higher level, or more subject-specific, qualification than at ISCED 2. Admission into ISCED 3 usually requires the completion of ISCED 2 or a combination of basic education and life experience that demonstrates the ability to engage with ISCED 3 subject matter. There are substantial differences in the typical duration of ISCED 3 programmes both across and between countries, typically ranging from 2 to 5 years of schooling.
ISCED 97 level 4 - Post secondary non-tertiary education: These programmes straddle the boundary between upper secondary and post-secondary education from an international point of view, even though they may be considered as upper secondary or post-secondary in a national context. They are often not significantly more advanced than programmes at level 3 but they serve to broaden the knowledge of participants who have already completed a level 3 programme. The students tend to be older than those in ISCED 3 programmes and have usually completed ISCED 3. The duration of these programmes will generally be between 6 months and two years (full-time equivalent duration).
ISCED 97 level 5 - First stage of tertiary education: ISCED 5 programmes have an educational content more advanced than those offered at levels 3 and 4. Entry to these programmes normally requires the successful completion of ISCED level 3 or a similar qualification at ISCED level 4.
ISCED 97 level 5A: These programmes are largely theoretically based and are intended to provide sufficient qualifications for gaining entry into advanced research programmes and professions with high skills requirements. The minimum cumulative theoretical duration of these programmes is three years (full-time equivalent). The faculty must have advanced research credentials. Completion of a research project or thesis may be required.
ISCED 97 level 5B: These programmes are generally more practical/technical and occupational specific than ISCED 5A programmes. They do not prepare students for direct access to advanced research programmes. The programme content is typically designed to prepare students to enter a particular occupation.
ISCED 97 level 6 - Second stage of tertiary education: This level is reserved for tertiary programmes leading to the award of an advanced research qualification. The programmes are developed to advanced study and original research. This level requires the submission of a thesis or dissertation of publishable quality that is the product of original research and represents a significant contribution to knowledge. It is not solely based on course work and it prepares recipients for faculty posts in institutions offering ISCED 5A programmes, as well as research posts in government and industry.
The following qualifications regarding the data in Table 4.4 should be borne in mind:
ISCED 4 included in ISCED 3.
ISCED 2 is included in ISCED 1.
ISCED 3 includes vocational programmes at ISCED 2 and 4
ISCED 3 includes ISCED 4.
ISCED 4 is partly included in ISCED 3.
ISCED 3 includes ISCED 2 and 4. ISCED O is not included
Public sector only.
Special education needs additional teachers included at ISCED 1 and 2.
Includes teachers in public gymnasium at ISCED 2.
ISCED 3 includes teachers from ISCED 2 private institutions.
ISCED 3 includes ISCED 4.
Public sector only.
Public sector only. ISCED 3 includes ISCED 4.
For both Tables 4.4 and 4.5 the data for Belgium exclude the German community and exclude students in private independent institutions.
Third level education (4.6)
The 2011 version of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011) is used for table 4.6 and incorporates 8 levels of education:
ISCED 2011 level 0 - Early childhood education: Programmes at this level are typically designed with a holistic approach to support children’s early cognitive, physical, social and emotional development and introduce young children to organized instruction outside to the family context. ISCED level 0 refers to those early childhood programmes that have an intentional education component. These programmes aim to develop socio-emotional skills necessary for participation in school and society and to develop some of the skills needed for academic readiness and to prepare them for entry to primary education.
ISCED 2011 level 1 - Primary: Programmes at this level are typically designed to provide students with fundamental skills in reading, writing and mathematics (i.e., literacy and numeracy), and to establish a sound foundation for learning and understanding of core areas of knowledge, personal and social development, preparing for lower secondary education. It focuses on learning at a basic level of complexity with little if any specialisation.
ISCED 2011 level 2 - Lower Secondary: Programmes at this level are typically designed to build upon the learning outcomes from ISCED level 1. Usually the educational aim is to lay the foundation for lifelong learning and human development on which education systems may systematically expand further educational opportunities. Some education systems may already offer vocational education programmes at ISCED level 2 to provide individuals with skills relevant to employment.
ISCED 2011 level 3 – Upper Secondary: Programmes at this level are typically designed to complete secondary education in preparation for tertiary education, or to provide skills relevant to employment, or both.
ISCED 2011 level 4 – Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary: Post-secondary non-tertiary education provides learning experiences building on secondary education and preparing for labour market entry as well as tertiary education. It aims at the individual acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies below the high level of complexity characteristic of tertiary education. Programmes at ISCED level 4 are typically designed to provide individuals who completed ISCED level 3 with non-tertiary qualifications that they require for progression to tertiary education for employment when their ISCED level 3 qualification does not grant such access.
ISCED 2011 level 5 – Short-Cycle Tertiary: Programmes at this level are often designed to provide participants with professional knowledge, skills and competencies. Typically they are practically based, occupationally specific and prepare students to enter the labour market. However, programmes may also provide a pathway to other tertiary education programmes. Academic tertiary education programmes below the level of a bachelor programme or equivalent are also classified as ISCED level 5.
ISCED 2011 level 6 – Bachelor or equivalent: Programmes at this level are often designed to provide participants with intermediate academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competencies, leading to a first degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes at this level are typically theoretically based but may include practical components and are informed by state of the art research and/or best professional practice. They are traditionally offered by universities and equivalent tertiary educational institutions.
ISCED 2011 level 7 – Master or equivalent: Programmes at this level are often designed to provide participants with advanced academic and/or professional knowledge, skills and competencies, leading to a second degree or equivalent qualification. Programmes at this level may have a substantial research component, but do not yet lead to the award of a doctoral qualification. Typically, programmes at this level are theoretically based but may include practical components and are informed by state of the art research and/or best professional practice. They are traditionally offered by universities and other tertiary educational institutions.
ISCED 2011 level 8 – Doctoral or equivalent: Programmes at this level are designed primarily to lead to an advanced research qualification. Programmes at this level are devoted to advanced study and original research and typically offered only by research-oriented tertiary educational institutions such as universities. Doctoral programmes exist in both academic and professional fields.
The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assesses young people’s capacity to use their knowledge and skills in order to meet real-life challenges, rather than merely examining how well the students had mastered their school curriculum. PISA assesses literacy in reading, mathematics and science. The PISA survey was first conducted in 2000 in 32 countries. Two thirds of the assessment in 2000 focussed on reading literacy. The second study, conducted in 2003 in 41 countries focussed primarily on mathematical literacy. In 2006, the primary focus was on science, in 2009 the primary focus was on reading and in 2012 the primary focus was on mathematics.
Students aged between 15 years and 3 months and 16 years and 2 months at the beginning of the assessment period and who were enrolled in an educational institution were eligible to be included in the study. No distinction was made on the basis of whether they were attending full-time or part-time.
The PISA scale for each literacy area was devised so that across OECD countries, the average score is 500 points, the standard deviation is 100 and thus around two-thirds of students achieve between 400 and 600 points. The scales were established in the year in which their respective domain was the major domain, since in that year the framework for the domain was fully developed and the domain was comprehensively assessed.
The OECD average is the mean of the data values for all OECD countries for which data are available or can be estimated. The OECD average can be used to see how one country compares on a given indicator with another country. Each country contributes equally to the OECD average. Hence it does not take into account the absolute size of the student population in each country.
The OECD total takes the OECD countries as a single entity, to which each country contributes in proportion to the number of 15 year-olds enrolled in its schools. It illustrates how a country compares with the OECD area as a whole.
Early school leavers (4.8)
Early school leavers are persons aged 18 to 24 in the following two conditions (numerator): the highest level of education or training attained is ISCED 0, 1 or 2; and respondents declared not having received any education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey.
The denominator is the total population of the same age group, excluding non-response answers to the questions 'highest level of education or training attained' and 'participation in education and training'. Both the numerators and the denominators come from the Labour Force Survey (Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Ireland). The information collected relates to all education or training received whether or not relevant to the respondent's current or possible future job. It includes initial education, further education, continuing or further training, training within the company, apprenticeship, on-the-job training, seminars, distance learning, evening classes, self-learning, etc. It includes also courses followed for general interest and may cover all forms of education and training such as language, data processing, management, art/culture, and health/medicine courses.
From November 2009 the Eurostat indicator on early school leavers is based on annual averages of quarterly data instead of one unique reference quarter in spring.
Science and technology graduates (4.9)
Science and technology comprises Life sciences; Physical sciences; Mathematics and statistics; Computing; Engineering and engineering trades; Manufacturing and processing; and Architecture and building.
These indicators include tertiary graduates from public and private institutions. Tertiary education refers to International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 97) levels 5 and 6. See text above at 4.4 and 4.5 for detailed information on ISCED 97 classifications.
Data on science and technology graduates are collected through the joint UNESCO-OECD-EUROSTAT data collection questionnaires on graduates.
Health care expenditure (5.1 and 5.2)
Current public expenditure on health care in Ireland includes expenditure on items such as services and administration in hospitals, community health and welfare expenditure, and services for the disabled. Also included are treatment benefits, which are funded by the Department of Social Protection.
The expenditure has been deflated to real prices by using the National Accounts series for net expenditure by central and local government on current goods and services at base year 2013 (see series under Indicator 4.1 definitions). See Economy section notes for details of PPS.
There is a break in the series in Table 5.1 in 2005 as the establishment of the HSE with its own Vote gave rise to changes in the reporting of health expenditure in the Revised Estimates for Public Services from 2005 onwards. Figures from 2005 are therefore not directly comparable with data from earlier years. Income that was previously collected and retained by the then Health Boards and did not form part of the Department of Health and Children’s Vote and which accrues direct to the HSE is now part of the Appropriations-in-Aid and is included in the figures.
Total expenditure on health as used for the international comparison includes both public and private capital and non-capital expenditure on health. These figures are compiled by the World Health Organisation. Whenever possible, the OECD definition of total expenditure on health is applied. It includes: household health expenses, including goods and services purchased at the consumer's own initiative and the cost-sharing part of publicly financed or supplied care; government-supplied health services including those in schools, prisons and armed forces and special public health programmes such as vaccination; investment in clinics, laboratories etc.; administration costs; research and development, excluding outlays by pharmaceutical firms; industrial medicine; outlays of voluntary and benevolent institutions. In the case of most central and eastern European countries the following has to be included: direct state budget allocated to the health sector, state subsidies to the mandatory health insurance system; mandatory health insurance contributions by employers and employees; direct health expenditure of employers for running industrial medical facilities; direct health expenditures of ministries and governmental agencies; charity health expenditures; foreign assistance; outstanding debt at the end of the year; private health insurance and direct private health charges. The OECD Health Database is used as the primary data source for those countries that are OECD Member States.
Life expectancy (5.3 and 5.4)
Life expectancy at birth or at age 65 is the average number of years that a person at that age can be expected to live, assuming that he or she were to pass through life subject to the age specific mortality rates of a given period.
Life expectancies in Table 5.3 are taken from the Life Tables calculated by the CSO (which are published after each Census of Population) while those in Table 5.4 are calculated by Eurostat.
|Domain and sub-domain||Indicator||Data source|
|Population||1.1||Ireland: Population distribution by age group||CSO, Population and migration estimates|
|1.2||EU: Population||Eurostat Statistics1: Population and social conditions/Population/Data/Database/Demography/Demography - National data/Population|
|1.3||Ireland: Migration and natural increase||CSO, Population and migration estimates|
|1.4||Ireland: Immigration by country of origin||CSO, Population and migration estimates|
|1.5||EU: Young and old as proportion of population aged 15-64||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Population/Data/Database/Demography/Demography - National data/Population|
|1.6||EU: Total Fertility rate||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Population/Data/Database/Demography/Demography - National data/Fertility|
|1.7||EU: Divorce rate||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Population/Data/Database/Demography/Demography - National data/Marriage and divorce|
|Social cohesion||1.8||EU: At risk of poverty rates||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Income, social inclusion and living conditions/Data/Database/Income distribution and monetary poverty/Monetary poverty|
|1.9||Ireland: At risk of poverty rates by age group||CSO, EU survey on Income and Living Conditions|
|1.10||Ireland: Persons in consistent poverty by household composition||CSO, EU survey on Income and Living Conditions|
|1.11||Ireland: Persons in consistent poverty by principal economic status||CSO, EU survey on Income and Living Conditions|
|1.12||EU: Gender pay gap||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour Market/Earnings/Main tables|
|1.13||EU: Net official development assistance||Irish Aid Annual Report, Department of Foreign Affairs; OECD Development Co-operation Report|
|1.14||EU: Private households with internet access||Eurostat Statistics: Industry, trade and services/Information society/Data/Main tables/Information society statistics/Computers and the internet in households and enterprises|
|Crime||1.15||Ireland: Recorded crimes by type of offence||CSO, Garda Recorded Crime Statistics|
|1.16||Ireland: Detection rates for recorded crime||CSO, Garda Recorded Crime Statistics|
|Domain and sub-domain||Indicator||Data source|
|Finance||2.1||Ireland: GDP and GNI||CSO, National Income and Expenditure|
|2.2||EU: GDP and GNI at current market prices||Eurostat statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/National Accounts (ESA2010) Annual National Accounts/Main GDP aggregates|
|Eurostat statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/Annual national accounts/GDP and main components|
|2.3||EU: GDP growth rates||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/National Accounts (ESA2010)/Annual National Accounts/Main GDP aggregates|
|2.4||EU: GDP per capita in PPS||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Main tables/Annual national accounts/GDP and main components|
|2.5||EU: General Government consolidated gross debt||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Government finance statistics/Data/Database/Government Finance Statistics/Government Statistics/Government Finance Statistics (EDP and ESA2010)/Government deficit and debt|
|2.6||EU: Public balance||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Government finance statistics/Data/Database/Government Finance Statistics/Government Statistics/Government Finance Statistics (EDP and ESA2010)/Government deficit and debt|
|2.7||Ireland: Central and Local Government current expenditure||CSO, National Income and Expenditure|
|2.8||EU: Gross fixed capital formation||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/National Accounts (ESA2010)/Annual National Accounts/Main GDP aggregates|
|2.9||EU: Current account balance||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Balance of payments/Data/Database/Balance of payments statistics and international investment positions/Balance of payments by country|
|Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/Annual national accounts (ESA2010)/GDP and main components/ GDP and main components - current prices|
|2.10||EU: Exports of goods and services||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Balance of payments/Data/Database/Balance of payments statistics and international investment positions/Balance of payments by country|
|Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/Annual national accounts (ESA2010) /GDP and main components/ GDP and main components - current prices|
|2.11||EU: imports of goods and services||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Balance of payments/Data/Database/Balance of payments statistics and international investment positions/Balance of payments by country|
|Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Database/Annual national accounts (ESA2010)/GDP and main components/ GDP and main components - current prices|
|2.12||EU: Harmonised index of consumer prices||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Harmonised indices of consumer prices/Data/Database/Harmonised indices of consumer prices|
|2.13||EU: Comparative price levels of final consumption by private households including indirect taxes||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/Purchasing power parities/Data/Main tables|
|Employment and unemployment||2.14||EU: Employment rates by sex||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour Market/Employment and unemployment/Data/Database/LFS series detailed annual survey results/Employment rates - LFS series|
|2.15||Ireland: GDP in purchasing power standards per hour worked and per person employed||Eurostat Statistics: Economy and Finance/National accounts (including GDP)/Data/Main tables/Annual national accounts/Auxiliary indicators to National Accounts - annual data|
|2.16||EU: Unemployment rates||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour Market/Employment and unemployment/Data/Database/LFS series detailed annual survey results/Total unemployment - LFS series|
|2.17||EU: Long-term unemployment rates||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour Market/Employment and unemployment/Data/Database/LFS series detailed annual survey results/Total unemployment - LFS series|
|2.18||EU: population aged 18-59 living in jobless households||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour Market/Employment and unemployment/Data/Main tables/LFS main indicators/Population, activity and inactivity - LFS adjusted series|
|Housing||2.19||Ireland: Dwellings completed||Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Annual Housing Statistics Bulletin|
|2.20||Ireland: Housing loans||Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Annual Housing Statistics Bulletin|
|Domain and sub-domain||Indicator||Data source|
|Environment||3.1||EU: Net green house gas emissions and Kyoto target||Eurostat Statistics: Environment and energy/Environment/Data/Main tables/Greenhouse gases|
|3.2||EU: Gross inland consumption of energy divided by GDP||Eurostat Statistics: EU Policy indicators/Sustainable development indicators/Socio-economic development/Innovation, competiveness and eco-efficiency|
|3.3||Ireland: Particulate matter in urban areas||Environmental Protection Agency|
|3.4||Ireland: Greenhouse gas emissions||CSO, Environmental Accounts|
|3.5||Ireland: Total municipal waste generated, recovered and landfilled||Environmental Protection Agency|
|3.6||EU: Municipal waste generated and treated||Eurostat Statistics: EU Policy indicators/Sustainable development indicators/Sustainable consumption and development/Resource use and waste|
|3.7||EU: Passenger cars per 1,000 population aged 15 and over||Eurostat Statistics: Transport/Data/Database/Regional transport/Stock of vehicles by category at regional level|
|3.8||EU: Share of road transport in total inland freight transport||Eurostat Statistics: Transport/Data/Main tables/Transport, volume and modal split|
|Domain and sub-domain||Indicator||Data source|
|Education||4.1||Ireland: Real current public expenditure on education||Department of Education and Skills, Key Education Statistics|
|4.2||Ireland: Student numbers by level||Department of Education and Skills, Key Education Statistics|
|4.3||EU: Public expenditure on education||Eurostat Statistics:Population and social conditions/Education and training/Education/Data/Database/Education/Indicators on education finance|
|4.4||EU: Ratio of students to teachers||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Education and training/Education/Data/Database/Education indicators non-finance/Pupil/student - teacher ratio and average class size|
|4.5||EU: Primary and lower secondary average class size||Eurostat Statistics:Population and social conditions/Education and training/Education/Data/Database/Education indicators non-finance/Pupil/student - teacher ratio and average class size|
|4.6||EU: Persons aged 25-34 with third-level education||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Labour market/Employment and unemployment/Data/Database/LFS series - detailed annual survey results/Total population|
|4.7||EU: Student performance on the reading, mathematical and scientific literacy scales||OECD, PISA 2009|
|4.8||EU: Early school leavers||Eurostat Statistics:Population and social conditions/Education and training/Education/Data/Main tables/Education attainment, outcomes and returns of education|
|4.9||Ireland: Mathematics, science and technology graduates||Eurostat Statistics:Population and social conditions/Education and training/Education/Data/Database/Education/Education indicators non-finance/Tertiary education graduates|
|Domain and sub-domain||Indicator||Data source|
|Health||5.1||Ireland: Current public expenditure on health care||Department of Health, Health Statistics, Table L6|
|CSO, Annual population estimates|
|CSO, National Accounts|
|5.2||EU: Total expenditure on health as a % of GDP||World Health Organisation, Health for All Database http://data.euro.who.int/fadb/|
|5.3||Ireland: Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 by sex||CSO, Vital Statistics, Irish Life Tables No 15, 2005-2007|
|5.4||EU: Life expectancy at birth by sex||Eurostat Statistics: Population and social conditions/Population/Data/Data-base/Demography/Demography - National data/National data/Mortality|