Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Background and appendices


This report on regional life in Ireland in 2017 is the third CSO report in this series. The first report “Regional Quality of Life in Ireland” was produced in 2008 and was one of the outputs when the CSO was requested by the social partnership agreement 2003-2005 to support a move towards more evidence-based policy making. The National Statistics Board had further requested that the CSO provide a comprehensive set of social indicators with the emphasis on disaggregation by key characteristics such as the nine equality grounds. The second regional report was produced for 2013.

Structure of report and brief technical notes

There are 70 indicators in this report. All data are presented for the eight Regional Authorities (NUTS 3)[1], with some indicators also including analysis by county.  The region classifications are given in Appendix 1.

The appendices describe the indicator definitions and data sources in greater detail. The national data sources are given for each indicator. While many of the national data are compiled by the CSO, we have also used survey and administrative data holdings held by Government departments and agencies. The data in the tables and graphs reflect the national data availability position as of Autumn/Winter 2018.

This table below shows the 7 chapters in this Regional report and the SDG goals which are relevant. (SDG golals 2 "Zero hunger" and 14 "Life below water" are not covered.)

Regional report chapters                         SDG goals
National  Not applicable
Poverty & Health 1   Poverty             
  3    Good health & well-being              
Education & inequality 4    Quality education
  5    Gender equality
  10  Reduced inequalities
Environment 6    Clean water & sanitiation
  7    Affordable & clean energy
Economy & employment 8    Decent work & economic growth
  9    Industry innovation & infrastructure   
Sustainability 11  Sustainable cities & communities
  12  Responsible consumption & production   
  13  Climate action
  15  Life on land
Justice 16  Peace, justice & strong institutions
  17  Partnership for the goals

[1] See Appendix 1.

Appendix 1

1 National

Regional Authorities (NUTS2, NUTS3)

The regional classifications in this release are based on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units) classification created by Eurostat in order to define territorial units for the production of regional statistics across the European Union. In 2003 the NUTS classification was established within a legal framework (Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003).

As the administrative territorial breakdown of EU Member States is the basis of the NUTS classification, changes made under the 2014 Local Government Act prompted a revision to the NUTS 3 Regions. These changes included the amalgamation of the local authorities of Tipperary North and South, Limerick City and County Councils and Waterford City and County Councils. 

The main changes at NUTS 3 level are the transfer of South Tipperary from the South-East into the Mid-West region and the movement of Louth from the Border to the Mid-East Region.  The revisions made to the NUTS boundaries have been given legal status under Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/2066. The original (2003) and revised (2016) NUTS 3 structures and classifications are shown below. All tables use the revised NUTS3 2016 classification, except for these tables: 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.11, 2.13, 3.10, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.10, 5.16, 7.3. Note that where a table shows data at county level it is easy to see if the regional classification is the original, (Louth included in Border area and Tipperary is split between South-East and Mid-West), or the revised version, (Louth is in the Mid-East and all of Tipperary is in the Mid-West).

Revised NUTS 3 2016 – Eight Regional Authorities

Border – Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo.

Midland – Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath.

West – Galway, Mayo, Roscommon.

Dublin – Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin.

Mid-East – Kildare, Louth, Meath, Wicklow.

Mid-West – Clare, Limerick, Tipperary.

South-East – Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford.

South-West – Cork, Kerry.


Revised NUTS2 2016 - Three regions:

Northern & Western  - Border and West regions

Southern - Mid-West, South-East and South-West regions

Eastern & Midland - Dublin, Mid-East and Midland regions


Original NUTS 3 2003 - Eight Regional Authorities:

Border – Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo.

Midland – Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath.

West – Galway, Mayo, Roscommon.

Dublin – Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin.

Mid-East – Kildare, Meath, Wicklow.

Mid-West – Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary.

South-East – Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford.

South-West – Cork, Kerry.


Original NUTS2 2003 - Two regions:

Border, Midland and Western - Border, Midland and West regions

Southern and Eastern - Dublin, Mid-East, Mid-West, South-East and South-West regions 

Population by county (1.1)

The census figures relate to the de facto population i.e. the population recorded for each area represents the total of all persons present within its boundaries on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, together with all persons who arrived in that area on the morning of Monday, 25 April 2016, not having been enumerated elsewhere.  Persons on board ships in port are included with the population of adjacent areas. The figures, therefore, include visitors present on Census Night as well as those in residence, while usual residents temporarily absent from the area are excluded.

The de facto measure of the population in April 2016 was 4,761,865 while the usually resident total was 4,689,921 - a difference of 71,944 or 1.5%. The usually resident measure is used when analysing topics such as nationality and households and families.

Age dependency ratio (1.5)

The young age dependency ratio is calculated by dividing the number of persons in the population aged 0-14 by the number of persons aged 15-64. 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.

Social class by county (1.9)

The social class categories used are from the Census of Population.

2 Poverty and Health

At risk of poverty (2.1)

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 2.1 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.

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 therefore 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 tables 2.1 and 2.2 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 (2.2)

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:

  1. Without heating at some stage in the last year
  2. Unable to afford a morning, afternoon or evening out in the last fortnight
  3. Unable to afford two pairs of strong shoes
  4. Unable to afford a roast joint or its equivalent once a week
  5. Unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day
  6. Unable to afford new (not second-hand) clothes
  7. Unable to afford a warm waterproof coat
  8. Unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm
  9. Unable to afford to replace any worn out furniture     
  10. Unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or meal once a month
  11. Unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year

An individual is defined as being in consistent poverty if they are:

  • Identified as being at risk of poverty; and
  • Living in a household which experienced at least two or more of the eleven items listed above.

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.

Life Expectancy (2.3)

Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years that a person when born can be expected to live, assuming that age-specific mortality levels remain constant. Life expectancy at age 65 is the average number of years that a person at age 65 can be expected to live, assuming that age-specific mortality levels remain constant.

Total period fertility rate (2.4)

The total period fertility rate (TPFR) is derived from the age-specific fertility rates. It represents the projected number of children a woman would have if she experienced current age-specific fertility rates while progressing from age 15 to 49 years. A TPFR of 2.1 is generally taken to be the level at which a generation would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration.

Discharge rate (2.5)

The age-standardised hospital discharge rate for a region is the number of discharges (per 100,000 population) that would occur if that region had the same age structure as the WHO (World Health Organisation) European Standard Population and the local age-specific rates for that region applied.

These rates are derived from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE) system, which is a health information system designed to collect clinical and administrative data on activity from all publicly funded acute hospitals. The Economic and Social Research Institute manages the HIPE system. The rates presented are based on in-patients only; day cases are not included. The HIPE system is episode based and so records hospital discharges and not patients. Therefore, a person admitted and discharged from hospital on more than one occasion is recorded separately for each hospital episode. Caution should be exercised in the interpretation of this data. Data should not be used a prosy for prevalence. Rather, it provides indicators of public hospital utilisation and should be interpreted in this context. In the absence of data from private hospitals, population-based rates may be understated and are also subject to selection bias.

Standardised death rates (2.6)

Variations in the age distribution of the population from one region to another can have an effect on the comparability of death rates between regions. If a particular ration contains a large proportion of elderly persons, the crude death rate per 1,000 population will be relatively high even if the health conditions in that region are better than the general average. In an attempt to overcome this, standardised death rates are prepared. For a particular region this is done by calculating the death rate in each age group of the population in that region and then multiplying the death rate in each age group by the population in the whole country in that age group and summing the resulting products. The rates provided in table 2.5 are age-standardised to the European standard population(ESP2013) and are presented as rates per 100,000 population. This work was carried out by the Statistics and Analytics Unit, Department of Health, and is based on Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) data which includes details on all discharges from publicly funded acute hospitals in the State. 

The underlying cause of death is the disease or injury which the doctor (or coroner) reported on the death certificate as being the cause that initiated the train of events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident, or violence which produced the fatal injury. Cause of death is coded using the International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD 10). The ICD 10 codes for the causes of death highlighted in this report are:

Neoplasms  -  C00 to D48

Diseases of the circulatory system  -  I00 to I99

Diseases of the respiratory system -   J00 to J99

Disability (2.7)

Data on disability was derived from answers to questions 16 and 17 of the 2016 Census of Population questionnaire. 

Question 16 was a seven-part question that asked about the existence of the following long lasting conditions:

(a) blindness or a serious vision impairment

(b) deafness or a severe hearing impairment

(c) a difficulty with basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying

(d) an intellectual disability

(e) a difficulty with learning, remembering or concentrating

(f) a psychological or emotional condition

(g) a difficulty with pain, breathing or any other chronic illness or condition.

If a person answered YES to any of the parts of Q16, they were then asked to answer Question 17.

This question was a four-part question that asked whether an individual had a difficulty doing any of the following activities:

(a) dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home (self-care disability)

(b) going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor’s surgery (going outside the home disability)

(c) working at a job or business or attending school or college (employment disability)

(d) participating in other activities, such as leisure or using transport.

Individuals were classified as having a disability if they answered YES to any part of the above two questions, including, in particular, if they ticked YES to any of the parts of Q17 even though they may not have ticked YES to any of the parts of Q16. The formats of these questions were updated in 2011 in consultation with users and interested groups.

Carers (2.8)

Data on carers were derived from answers to question 22 of the 2016 Census of Population which asked persons aged 15 years & over:

"Do you provide regular unpaid personal help for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem or disability?"

Problems due to old age are included. Personal help includes help with basic tasks such as feeding or dressing. Receipt of “Carers Allowance” was not considered payment for the purposes of this question. "Meals on Wheels” staff were not considered carers for the purpose of this question.

If a respondent answered ‘Yes’ then they were asked for how many hours per week they provided this unpaid help.

Medical cards (2.9)

Persons who are unable without undue hardship to arrange General Practitioner medical and surgical services plus dental and optometric services for themselves and their dependants are provided with such services free of charge by being provided with a medical card issued by the HSE. Between 2001 and 2008 everyone aged 70 and over was entitled to a medical card; however, from January 2009 only persons with income under certain limits are entitled to a card. All existing medical cards for people aged over 70 were valid until 2 March 2009 and after that date the cards remained valid only if the person’s income was below the relevant income threshold. Data in Table 5.6 on medical cards refer to the situation on 31 December 2017.

An eligible person is entitled to select a doctor of his/her choice from among those doctors who have entered into agreements with Health Boards.

Perceived health status (2.10)

Perceived health status is based on the answers all persons gave to question 18 of the 2016 Census of Population which asked:

How is your health in general?

There were five possible options provided for reply: very good, good, fair, bad or very bad.

Prevalence of drinking alcohol (2.11)

Data on binge drinking was collected in the Irish Health Survey, (see 2.11 above). Binge drinking is defined by health experts, (for example the World Health Organisation (WHO)), as six or more standard drinks in one sitting, which is the equivalent of three or more pints of beer or six or more pub measures of spirits.

Fair Deal scheme (2.14) 

The Fair Deal scheme, (also known as the Nursing Homes Support Scheme), provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care. This scheme is operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The Fair Deal scheme does not cover short-term care such as respite, convalescent or day care. Participants pay part of the nursing home fees with the balance paid by the HSE. The scheme applies to approved public, private and voluntary nursing homes.

3 Education

Education attainment (3.2)

This analysis is based on persons, (aged 15 years and over), who had ceased their full-time education, i.e., answered YES to Question 24 on the Census 2016 form. This table classified these persons by the highest level of education they have attained, using the answer to Question 25 on the Census 2016 form.

Proportion of managers, directors and senior officials who are female (3.9)

This table is based on Labour Force Survey (LFS) data which classifies occupations using the one digit UK SOC 2010 classification and uses data for the occupation grouping "Managers, directors and senior officials".

Third level grants (3.10)

This data is from Student Universal Support Ireland, (SUSI), Ireland's national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. Funding is offered to eligible students in approved full-time third level education in Ireland and also, in some cases, funding for students studying outside the State. Support is offered to all types of students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education.

4 Environment

Drinking water (4.2)

Under Section 58 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992, the EPA is required to collect and verify monitoring results for all water supplies in Ireland covered by the Drinking Water Regulations. This involves the collection of results on an annual basis from local authorities and carrying out audits on selected local authorities to verify the information that has been submitted.

A drinking water supply is deemed to be secure if there is in place a management system that has identified all potential risks and reduction measures to manage these risks.

There are four distinct categories of water supply in Ireland, listed below.

  • Public Water Supplies (PWS)
  • ‘Public’ Group Water Schemes (PuGWS). These are schemes where the water is provided by the local authority but responsibility for distribution of the water rests with the group scheme. These schemes tend to be supplied off larger public water supplies.
  • ‘Private’ Group Water Schemes (PrGWS)
  • Small Private Supplies (SPS)

Blue flag beaches by county (4.3)

The Blue flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels for beaches, marinas and boats. The mission of the programme is to promote environmental education, sustainable development of tourism, environmental management systems and ensure safety and access for beach users. An Taisce operate the programme in Ireland. In order to qualify for this award, a beach or marina must meet a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained. At beaches the bathing water must comply with the excellent standard in accordance with the 2006 EU Bathing Water Directive. 

Installation of energy saving products (4.4)

Data on the installation of energy saving products was collected in a special module attached to the CSO Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Q2 2014. The principal purpose of the QNHS survey is the production of quarterly labour force estimates and occasional reports on special topics.

5 Economy and employment

Disposable income (5.1)

Household primary income is defined as wages, plus self-employed income, plus rent (including imputed rent), plus net interest and dividends.

Total income is defined as primary income (i.e. wages, plus self-employed income plus interest and dividends) plus social benefits plus other current transfers.

Current taxes are defined as income taxes and other current personal taxes.

Household disposable income is defined as total income minus current taxes on income minus social contributions (employers’, employees’, self-employed, etc.).

Disposable income per person is the household disposable income of a region divided by the total population of the region.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices is calculated in Ireland using two approaches, i.e., the income and expenditure approaches.

The main components of the income estimate are:

  1. Profits of companies and of the self-employed;
  2. Remuneration of employees (wages, salaries, pensions and employer’s contributions to social insurance);
  3. Rent of dwellings (imputed in the case of owner-occupied).


Adjustments are made in respect of stock appreciation (to eliminate the effect of price changes on the level of stocks).

On the expenditure side estimates are made of:

  1. Personal expenditure on consumers’ goods and services;
  2. Expenditure by public authorities on current goods and services;
  3. Gross domestic fixed capital formation;
  4. The value of physical changes in stocks.

 The value of exports is then added and imports are deducted.

These two approaches (income and expenditure) should theoretically give the same answer. However, they will always diverge to some extent as they are measured using different data sources. The official level of GDP is taken to be an average of the expenditure and income estimates and a balancing item is displayed which is half of the difference between the two estimates - this is called the Statistical Discrepancy. This is the amount by which both estimates have to be adjusted to agree with the official level of GDP.

Gross value added (5.2, 5.3)

Gross Value Added (GVA) is a key economic measure of the value added generated by the production of goods and services within a region. GVA at basic prices is a measure of the value of the final goods and services produced in a region (less the materials and services used which come from outside the region) priced at the value which the producers received minus any taxes payable and plus any subsidies receivable as a consequence of their production or sale. GVA differs from household income in three main respects:

  • Firstly, GVA includes the total profits of companies. Company profits arising in the state, which accrue to non-residents, are considerable.
  • Secondly, the workforce that produces the GVA in a region may not live there and may bring their income home to a neighbouring region in which thy will be included in household income.
  • Thirdly, personal income includes items such as social welfare benefits and factor incomes from abroad, which are not included in GVA.

GVA (at basic prices) equals Gross Domestic Product (GDP) minus product taxes plus product subsidies. Distributing product taxes (e.g. vat, excise duties, etc.) between regions can distort the comparisons of the amount of value added that is generated in each region. Hence GVA is the standard measure of value added used for regions rather than GDP.

GVA is essentially the sum of compensation of employees and profits generated in a region - the differences between the absolute levels in the regions arise from population differences and different levels of profits and wages in the regions. The per capita differences reflect different levels of wages and profits per person in the regions. The biggest difference between GVA and household income in Ireland is that company profits are included in GVA whereas this is not the case for household income. Company profits can be very substantial and may be remitted abroad rather than distributed to households in a region.

The sum of GVA for the three sectors Agriculture, Industry and Services does not added to the total due to the effect of the Statistical Discrepancy.

NACE Economic Sector (5.6)

The economic sector is classified using the statistical Classification of Economic Activities (NACE). Agriculture is NACE sector A, Industry is B to F and Services is G to U.

International Labour Office (ILO)

The International Labour Office (ILO) classification distinguishes the following main subgroups of the population aged 15 & over:

Persons in employment are all persons:

  • Who worked in the week before the survey for one hour or more for payment or profit, including work on the family farm or business; and
  • All persons who had a job but were not a work because of illness, holidays, etc. in the week.

 Persons classified as unemployed are persons who, in the week before the survey:

  • Were without work;
  • Were available for work within the next two weeks; and
  • Had taken specific steps, in the preceding four weeks to find work.

 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.

Employment rate (5.7)

The employment rate is defined as the number of persons in employment (ILO) in an age group as a percentage of the population of that age group.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) in Ireland covers persons 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.

All data relating to the (ILO) labour force refers to the second quarter (April-June) of the reference year unless otherwise stated.

Unemployment rate (5.8)

The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed expressed as a percentage of the (ILO) labour force.

Long-term unemployment rate (5.9)

The long-term unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed persons who are unemployed for more than one year. It is calculated by dividing the number of persons who are unemployed for more than one year by the total labour force (i.e. the number of persons employed plus the number of persons unemployed).

Travel by Irish residents (5.10)

Data on travel by Irish residents refer to persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one continuous year for leisure, business or other purposes. Stays in prison, military service and hospital or clinics etc. are excluded.

Domestic tourism is defined as the activities of residents of the Republic of Ireland travelling to and staying in places only within the Republic of Ireland but outside their usual environment. International tourism is defined as the activities of residents of the Republic of Ireland travelling to and staying in places outside the Republic of Ireland and therefore outside their usual environment. The average number of trips taken is calculated by dividing the total number of trips taken by the number of persons taking trips.

Penalty points (5.14)

This table shows the percentage of drivers with penalty points on 31 December 2017. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of drivers with penalty points by the total number of drivers holding current full and provisional licences. Data are based on the licensing authority which issued the drivers with their driving license. Therefore, this may not match the usual residence of the person or where the penalty point incidence(s) took place. The data excludes drivers where there was no record of place of residence.

Persons aged 15-24 neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET rate) (5.15)

The indicator young people neither in employment nor in education and training, abbreviated as NEET, corresponds to the percentage of the population of a given age group and sex who are not employed and not involved in further education or training. This data is obtained from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

The numerator of the indicator refers to persons meeting these two conditions:

  • they are not employed (i.e. unemployed or inactive according to the International Labour Office (ILO) definition);
  • they have not received any education or training in the four weeks preceding the survey.

The denominator is the total population of the same age group and sex, excluding the respondents who have not answered the question 'participation in regular education and training'.

6 Sustainability

Private Household

private household comprises either one person living alone or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address with common housekeeping arrangements - that is, sharing at least one meal a day or sharing a living room or sitting room.  For Census 2016, in order to be included in the household, a person had to be a usual resident at the time of the census.  Therefore, visitors to the household on Census Night were excluded, while usual residents temporarily absent (for less than 12 months) were included.

A permanent private household is a private household occupying a permanent dwelling such as a house, flat or bed-sit.

A temporary private household is a private household occupying a caravan, mobile home or other temporary dwelling.

Communal establishments

A non-private household, or a communal establishment, is a group of persons enumerated in a boarding house, hotel, guest house, hostel, barracks, hospital, nursing home, boarding school, religious institution, welfare institution, prison or ship, etc. A non-private household may include usual residents and/or visitors. However, proprietors and managers of hotels, principals of boarding schools, persons in charge of various other types of institutions and members staff who, with or without their families, occupy separate living accommodation on the premises are classified as private households.

Housing stock and vacancy rate (6.1)

The housing stock in the Census is defined as the total number of permanent residential dwellings that were available for occupancy at the time of census enumeration. In this report, the housing stock consists of permanent private households (inhabited by both usual residents and visitors), holiday homes, vacant houses or apartments along with dwellings where all the occupants were temporarily absent on Census Night. However, communal establishments, temporary private households (e.g. caravans and mobile homes), along with dwellings categorised by the enumerators as being derelict, commercial only, or under construction are excluded from this definition.

In identifying vacant dwellings, Census enumerators were instructed to look for signs that the dwelling was not occupied e.g. no furniture, no cars outside, junk mail accumulating, overgrown garden etc., and to find out from neighbours whether it was vacant or not. It was not sufficient to classify a dwelling as vacant after one or two visits. Similar precautions were also taken before classifying holiday homes.

Holiday homes are categorised as dwellings that are only occasionally occupied. While they are mainly found in rural areas (particularly along the coastline), holiday homes could also consist of city apartments used for weekend breaks etc.  Before indicating that a dwelling was a holiday home, enumerators were instructed to call to the dwelling several times prior to Census Night and at various call times.  Enumerators were advised to consult with neighbours as to whether a dwelling was used as a holiday home.

The dwelling status was recorded as “Holiday home” in the enumerator record book (ERB) where an enumerator had clear information that a dwelling was used as a holiday home.

Dwellings under construction and derelict properties were not included in the count of vacant dwellings. As a result, the empty housing units were classified as vacant house, vacant apartment or holiday home only if the dwelling was considered fit for habitation by the enumerator. In the case of newly constructed dwellings, that meant that the roof, doors, windows or walls had to be completely built or installed. For older dwellings that were unoccupied the roof, doors and windows had to be fully intact.

Type of accommodation (6.4)

Private households (see above for definition) are classified by type of accommodation. Apartment includes flat and bed-sit. "Other" includes caravans, mobile homes or other temporary structures and not stated.

Occupancy type (6.5)

Occupancy type for private households, (see definition above). Rented includes rented from a local authority or voluntary body, privately rented and occupied free of rent.

New Dwelling completions (6.6)

The New Dwelling Completions is a quarterly series from the CSO on the number of new dwellings built in Ireland since 2011 and was first published in June 2018. This series has been compiled using the ESB Networks (ESBN) domestic connections dataset with adjustments for:

  • Non-dwelling connections to the ESB Network (primarily farm buildings)
  • Reconnections to the ESB Network after more than two years of disconnection
  • Previously completed dwellings in Unfinished/Ghost estates.

Mean sale price of residential dwellings (6.7)

The data on the mean sale price of residential dwellings are derived from the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) which is designed to measure the change in the average level of prices paid by households for residential properties sold in Ireland. The RPPI specifically excludes non-household purchases, non-market purchases and self-builds (i.e. where the land is purchased separately). The RPPI is compiled from a variety of data sources and the principal data source is stamp duty returns made to the Revenue Commissioners. All transfers of ownership of residential properties in the State must be referred to the Revenue Commissioners for stamp duty assessment under the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act (SDCA) 1999. The data collected includes the address of the property and the sales price.

Air quality (6.8)

Particulate Matter (PM10) concentration levels are used to measure urban air quality comprising two sub-elements based on concentration levels of ozone and fine particulates in ambient air in urban areas. Ozone is a strong photochemical oxidant, which causes serious health problems and damage to ecosystem, agricultural crops and materials. Human exposure to elevated ozone concentrations can give rise to inflammatory responses and decreases in lung function.

The selected urban stations include station types "urban" and "street". Only time series with a data capture of at least 75% are used. The number of exceedance days per City is obtained by averaging the results of all urban stations. The stations classified as "street" are influenced by local (traffic) emissions and might not be representative for the concentrations in more residential areas. Both station types have been included in the analysis to maximise the coverage; this may imply, however, that urban air quality concentrations are overestimated.

Under EU/Irish air quality legislation, monitoring stations are classified as either urban, suburban or rural and after that as either traffic, background or industrial. Therefore, the urban stations classified as "street" or "urban" could be classified as "traffic" or "background" to stay consistent with the EU classification.

The indicator target and limit values, as set in EC legislation, are as follows:

  • The target for Ozone for the protection of human health is 120μg/m3 (max. daily 8 hours-mean), not to be exceeded on more than 25 days per calendar year averaged over three years, from 2010; and
  • The limit value for PM10 is 50μg/m3 (24h average) not to be exceeded on more than 35 days per calendar year, from 2005.

The year to year variability of exceedances is large, particularly for ozone. The occurrence of high ozone peaks is strongly dependent on weather conditions. Comparisons between countries are only justified if coverage with stations is either sufficiently large, or if there is a really representative number of monitoring stations reporting regularly. These conditions are rarely satisfied.

The PM10 indicator shows percentages of urban population potentially exposed to concentration levels exceeding the limit value for the protection of human health in a calendar year. The limit value for PM10 is 50μg/m3 (24h average) not to be exceeded on 35 or more days per calendar year, from 2005. For each urban station the number of days with a daily average concentration in excess of the limit value is calculated from the available hourly or daily values. Urban population data is obtained from the GISCO database.

The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel (or the 'smoky coal ban') was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 in response to severe episodes of winter smog that resulted from the widespread use of smoky coal for residential heating. The ban proved effective in reducing smoke and sulphur dioxide levels and was then extended to other areas. The ban now applies in twenty-six cities and towns. Air quality monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown lower levels of particulate matter (PM10) in these areas than in towns where the ban does not apply. These cities and towns are: Arklow, Athlone, Bray, Carlow, Clonmel, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Ennis, Galway, Greystones, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Limerick, Maynooth/Celbridge/Leixlip, Mullingar, Naas, Navan, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow.

Household waste (6.9)

Household waste includes:

  • Kerbside collection of mixed residual waste collection (black bins);
  • Separate kerbside collection of mixed dry recyclable waste (green bins);
  • Separate kerbside collection of food and garden waste (brown bins);
  • Household waste brought to public and private bring banks, civic amenity sites, Pay-to-Use units, special collection events;
  • Household skips;
  • Other - household waste delivered directly to landfill face by households, estimate of “uncollected” household waste.

A household is defined to be any person or group of persons (not necessarily related) with common living arrangements, separately occupying all or part of a private house, flat, apartment or other private habitation of any kind.

The kerbside data are reported by the local authorities, the National Waste Collection Office (NWCPO), waste operators and producer compliance schemes to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are based on each local authority's household waste collection service (where one exists) and also on reports submitted by local household waste collectors to the NWCPO. While the data show the proportion of household waste that is collected for recycling, it is important to remember that due to contamination in the recycling stream (dirty waste, unsuitable waste), mixed dry waste must be processed to remove unrecyclable material before it is sent for recycling, meaning that not all waste that is put out for recycling is actually suitable for recycling.

7 Justice

Divorce and Judicial applications (7.1)

The data on Divorce applications and Judicial Separation applications granted and received relate to the Circuit Court.

Affect of anti-social behaviour on persons (7.3)

The data on the effect of anti-social behaviour on persons aged 18 and over is taken from the Crime and Victimisation module included in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in Q3 2015.

Households with a PC (7.4)

The data in this table is based on households who answered "Yes" to the question - Does your household have a personal computer (PC) ? (Question H10 on the Census 2016 form.)

Households with broadband access (7.5)

The data in this table is based on households who answered "Yes - Broadband connection" to the question - Does your household have access to the internet? (Question H11 on the Census 2016 form.)



Appendix 2 - Data sources



Data source



CSO Census of Population


Population density

CSO Census of Population


Town size

CSO Census of Population



CSO Census of Population


Age dependency ratios

CSO Census of Population


Males per 100 females

CSO Census of Population


Living arrangements

CSO Census of Population


Living alone by age

CSO Census of Population


Social class

CSO Census of Population





Proportion of the population living below national poverty line and at risk of poverty rate

CSO Survey on income and living conditions (SILC)


Proportion of the population in consistent poverty by region

CSO Survey on income and living conditions (SILC)


Life expectancy at birth and aged 65

CSO Vital Statistics


Total period fertility rate

CSO Vital Statistics


Age-standardised discharge rates by selected principal diagnosis

Department of Health


Standardised death rates by cause

CSO Vital Statistics


Persons with a disability by age

CSO Census of Population


Carers by hours of unpaid work

CSO Census of Population


Number of medical cards

Health Service Executive (HSE)


Perception of health status

CSO Census of Population


Obesity rate and BMI

CSO Irish Health Survey


Prevalence of drinking alcohol as % of population

CSO Irish Health Survey


Death rate due to road traffic accidents

CSO Vital Statistics


Suicide mortality rate

CSO Vital Statistics


Smoking prevalence as % of population

CSO Irish Health Survey


Fair Deal participants

Health Service Executive (HSE)





Full-time education status by region

CSO Census of Population


Higher level of education completed

CSO Census of Population


Age at which full-time education ceased

CSO Census of Population


Primary schools, pupils and teachers

Department of Education and Skills


Secondary schools and pupils

Department of Education and Skills


Leaving certificate candidates

Department of Education and Skills


Third level students by type of college

Department of Education and Skills



CSO Census of Population


Proportion of women in managerial positions

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Proportion of women in local governments

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government


Third level grants

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)





Private households by central heating

CSO Census of Population


Compliant drinking water schemes

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Blue flag beaches

An Taisce


Proportion of wastewater safely treated

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)





Disposable income per person

CSO County Incomes and Regional GDP


Gross value added

CSO County Incomes and Regional GDP


Gross value added by sector

CSO County Incomes and Regional GDP


Annual growth rate of real GDP per employed person

CSO County Incomes and Regional GDP


Annual growth rate of real GDP per capita

CSO County Incomes and Regional GDP


Employment by broad economic sector

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Employment rate by sex

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Unemployment rate by sex

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Long term unemployment by sex

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Travel by Irish residents

CSO Household Travel Survey


Means of travel to work

CSO Census of Population


Time taken to travel to work

CSO Census of Population


Time leaving home to go to work

CSO Census of Population


Drivers with current penalty points by licensing body

Road Safety Authority


Young people neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET rate)

CSO Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Road freight activity

CSO Road Freight Transport Survey





Housing stock and vacancy rates

CSO Census of Population


Dwellings by construction period

CSO Census of Population


Average rent in private rented households

CSO Census of Population


Type of accommodation

CSO Census of Population


Occupancy type

CSO Census of Population


New dwellings completions

CSO New Dwellings Completions


Average property prices

CSO Residential Property Price Index (RPPI)


Air quality

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Household waste

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Vehicle registrations by tax class

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport


Private car registrations by licensing authority

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport


Forest area as % of total land area

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine





Divorce and Judicial Separation applications

Courts Service


Repeal the 8th referendum results

Referendum Commission


Affect of anti-social behaviour on persons aged 18 and over

CSO Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS)


Private households with a PC

CSO Census of Population


Private households with broadband access

CSO Census of Population

Go to: Contact Details