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Education & inequality

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Table 3.1 Full-time education status of persons aged 15-24 by region, 20161
% of 15-24'000
RegionIn full-time educationPersons aged 15-24
Border71.545.3
Midland68.734.3
West74.254.0
Dublin68.9170.7
Mid-East71.582.1
Mid-West72.457.8
South-East68.849.0
South-West74.283.2
Total71.0576.5
Source: CSO Census of Population
1 County where persons were enumerated on Census night.
  • About three-quarters of young people (74.2%) aged 15-24 in the West and the South-West were in full-time education in 2016 compared to the national average of 71%.
  • The lowest proportions of young people in full-time education were in the Midlands at 68.7% and the South-East at 68.8%.
Table 3.2 Highest level of education completed by region, 20161
    % of cohort'000
RegionPrimary or no formalSecondaryThird levelNot statedTotal persons
 Lower Upper
Border17.516.732.726.86.3258.9
Midland14.216.536.426.46.5186.5
West13.914.034.032.85.4297.3
Dublin10.611.629.040.78.1878.8
Mid-East11.414.835.133.45.3433.2
Mid-West12.916.335.929.15.9309.5
South-East14.017.535.827.45.3278.9
South-West11.515.134.433.06.0453.9
State12.514.533.233.46.43,097.1
Source: CSO Census of Population
1 Persons aged 15 & over, whose full-time education has ceased. County where persons were enumerated on Census night.
  • In 2016 12.5% of Irish people whose full-time education had ceased had primary or no formal education. This proportion was lowest in Dublin at 10.6% and highest in the Border region at 17.5%.
  • Of the people whose full-time education had ceased in Ireland, one in every three had a third level qualification. This proportion was highest in Dublin at 40.7% and lowest in the Midland region at 26.4%.
Table 3.3 Age at which full-time education ceased by region, 20161
% of region'000
RegionUnder 1515-1718-2021-2425 & overNot statedPersons
Border8.520.918.613.16.232.6258.9
Midland6.219.820.413.06.134.5186.5
West6.216.720.416.18.432.1297.3
Dublin5.416.016.919.310.232.1878.8
Mid-East5.419.620.615.97.730.8433.2
Mid-West5.819.220.814.27.132.9309.5
South-East7.222.621.013.96.928.5278.9
South-West5.117.520.016.98.032.5453.9
Total5.918.419.316.38.231.93,097.1
Source: CSO Census of Population
1 Persons aged 15 & over, whose full-time education has ceased. County where persons were enumerated on Census night.
  • Nationally 24.3% of people finished their education under the age of 18.
  • People from the Border and South-East regions were more likely to finish their education at a young age, with nearly three out of every ten people finishing before the age of 18 compared to just two out of ten people in Dublin.
  • A quarter of Irish people in 2016 had completed their full-time education at the age of 21 and over with people in Dublin more likely to be older when finishing their education.
  • Nearly three out of ten people in Dublin finished their full-time education at age 21 and over compared to just two out of ten for people in the Border and Midland regions.
292
Number of primary schools in Cork County
Table 3.4 Primary schools, pupils and teachers by county, 2016/2017
   personsratiopupils
CountySchoolsPupilsTeachers1Pupil/schoolAverage class size
Border41647,0861,985113.223.7
Cavan759,671402128.924.1
Donegal17518,697800106.823.4
Leitrim373,65615698.823.4
Monaghan627,614311122.824.5
Sligo677,448316111.223.6
Midland24036,7711,501153.224.5
Laois6410,846429169.525.3
Longford375,208217140.824.0
Offaly669,677406146.623.8
Westmeath7311,040449151.224.6
West48351,5972,237106.823.1
Galway City257,334311293.423.6
Galway County20322,500952110.823.6
Mayo16414,36063787.622.5
Roscommon917,40333781.422.0
Dublin 444136,5485,463307.525.0
Dublin City19045,6821,940240.423.5
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown6319,219732305.126.3
Fingal9236,9281,398401.426.4
South Dublin 9934,7191,393350.724.9
Mid-East36790,1843,500245.725.8
Kildare10129,0861,128288.025.8
Louth7116,878663237.725.5
Meath11426,5471,015232.926.2
Wicklow8117,673694218.225.5
Mid-West40254,7202,269136.124.1
Clare11213,647582121.823.4
Limerick13422,471914167.724.6
Tipperary15618,602773119.224.1
South-East29050,9712,025175.825.2
Carlow427,549294179.725.7
Kilkenny7210,959440152.224.9
Waterford7414,160558191.425.4
Wexford10218,303733179.425.0
South-West47377,4873,172163.824.4
Cork City5013,455583269.123.1
Cork County29248,1961,924165.125.0
Kerry13115,836665120.923.8
Total3,115545,36422,152175.124.6
Source: Department of Education & Skills
1 Teaching teachers, i.e., excludes teachers in full-time management roles, (see Appendix 1).
  • There were 3,115 primary schools in 2016/2017, with the smallest number in the Midland region at 240 and the largest number of 483 in the West region.
  • The average number of primary pupils per school was 175.1. The West region had the smallest schools on average (106.8) while the largest schools were in the Dublin region (307.5).
  • Three counties had a pupil to school ratio of less than 100 - Roscommon (81.4), Mayo (87.6) and Leitrim (98.8). There were three counties with a ratio of more than 300 - Fingal (401.4), South Dublin (350.7) and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (305.1).
  • The national average class size was 24.6 with the smallest class size in the West at 23.1 and the largest in the Mid-East at 25.8.
  • At county level, the smallest average class size was 22 in Roscommon while the largest was in Fingal at 26.4.
Table 3.5 Second level schools and pupils by county, 2016/2017
  numberratio
CountySchoolsPupilsPupil/school
Border7030,864440.9
Cavan115,202472.9
Donegal2712,969480.3
Leitrim72,543363.3
Monaghan125,360446.7
Sligo134,790368.5
Midland4424,078547.2
Laois84,681585.1
Longford93,799422.1
Offaly127,066588.8
Westmeath158,532568.8
West7932,205407.7
Galway City95,031559.0
Galway County3613,785382.9
Mayo2610,137389.9
Roscommon83,252406.5
Dublin 17787,964497.0
Dublin city7630,101396.1
Fingal3221,558673.7
Dún Laoighaire-Rathdown3114,689473.8
South Dublin 3821,616568.8
Mid-East9055,240613.8
Kildare2818,368656.0
Louth1811,573642.9
Meath2114,264679.2
Wicklow2311,035479.8
Mid-West7436,663495.4
Clare188,200455.6
Limerick2615,170583.5
Tipperary3013,293443.1
South-East6634,134517.2
Carlow115,490499.1
Kilkenny167,513469.6
Waterford178,921524.8
Wexford2212,210555.0
South-West11151,109460.4
Cork City2711,294418.3
Cork County5829,291505.0
Kerry2610,524404.8
Total711352,257495.4
Source: Department of Education & Skills
  • The overall pupil to second level school ratio was 495.4 in 2016/2017. The Mid-East region had the largest schools with a ratio of 613.8 while the smallest schools were in the West with a ratio of 407.7.
  • The largest pupil to second level school ratios at county level were in Meath (679.2) and Fingal (673.7) while the smallest were in Leitrim at 363.3 and Sligo at 368.5.
Table 3.6 Leaving Certificate candidates by sex and county, 2018
   %
Region and countyMaleFemaleTotal
Border2,3622,3214,683
Cavan416338754
Donegal9991,0192,018
Leitrim215222437
Monaghan360385745
Sligo372357729
Midland1,8291,8873,716
Laois447435882
Longford290284574
Offaly446420866
Westmeath6467481,394
West2,4772,6815,158
Galway 1,4651,5152,980
Mayo7638731,636
Roscommon249293542
Dublin6,7337,07213,805
Mid-East4,1333,9968,129
Kildare1,3961,2412,637
Louth8428751,717
Meath1,0781,0932,171
Wicklow8177871,604
Mid-West2,8713,0315,902
Clare5686701,238
Limerick1,2541,2412,495
Tipperary1,0491,1202,169
South-East2,4792,5965,075
Carlow391450841
Kilkenny5145111,025
Waterford7456981,443
Wexford8299371,766
South-West3,9363,9927,928
Cork 3,1033,1126,215
Kerry8338801,713
Total26,82027,57654,396
Source: State Examinations Commissions
  • There were 54,396 candidates for the Leaving Certificate in 2018 and 50.7% were female.
  • Just over a quarter (25.4%) of all candidates were in the Dublin region.
  • Leitrim was the county with the fewest Leaving Certificate candidates at just 437.
Table 3.7 Third level full-time students by type of college and county, 2016/2017 1
    number  % of row
CountyUniversitiesInstitutes of TechnologyOtherTotalUniversitiesInstitutes of TechnologyOther
Border6,2677,07252213,86145.251.03.8
Cavan1,2621,037732,37253.243.73.1
Donegal2,1683,1581705,49639.457.53.1
Leitrim595530551,18050.444.94.7
Monaghan1,054988752,11749.846.73.5
Sligo1,1881,3591492,69644.150.45.5
Midland4,9154,2564439,61451.144.34.6
Laois1,2451,0581502,45350.843.16.1
Longford695584451,32452.544.13.4
Offaly1,3221,1071232,55251.843.44.8
Westmeath1,6531,5071253,28550.345.93.8
West10,8086,37287118,05159.935.34.8
Galway6,6793,32453710,54063.431.55.1
Mayo2,7882,0472195,05455.240.54.3
Roscommon1,3411,0011152,45754.640.74.7
Dublin22,78413,6462,90039,33057.934.77.4
Mid-East12,9019,2311,05323,18555.639.84.5
Kildare4,4842,5953207,39960.635.14.3
Louth1,8972,2491524,29844.152.33.5
Meath3,9372,3883446,66959.035.85.2
Wicklow2,5831,9992374,81953.641.54.9
Mid-West10,1826,2451,80818,23555.834.29.9
Clare2,7561,5944584,80857.333.29.5
Limerick4,3332,4008207,55357.431.810.9
Tipperary3,0932,2515305,87452.738.39.0
South-East7,0207,24562414,88947.148.74.2
Carlow8831,103782,06442.853.43.8
Kilkenny1,9151,4041923,51154.540.05.5
Waterford1,8182,4661604,44440.955.53.6
Wexford2,4042,2721944,87049.446.74.0
South-West14,8229,5731,28825,68357.737.35.0
Cork11,7187,21687619,81059.236.44.4
Kerry3,1042,3574125,87352.940.17.0
Total389,69963,6409,509162,84855.139.15.8
Source: Department of Education & Skills
1 Domiciliary origin of students, i.e., county where students come from.
2 "Other" includes teacher training, other aided by Departments and non-aided.
3 Total excludes "unspecified" and students from Northern Ireland.
  • More than half (55.1%) of the full-time students in third level institutions were at University in 2016/2017 while 39.1% were in Institutes of Technology (ITs).
  • The West region had the highest proportion of students in Universities at 59.9% with 35.3% in ITs. Just over half (51%) of students in the Border region went to ITs with 45.2% going to University.
  • At county level the highest percentage of third level students attending University were in Galway (63.4%), Kildare (60.6%) and Cork (59.2%).
  • The highest percentage of students attending ITs were in Donegal (57.5%), Waterford (55.5%) and Carlow (53.4%).
Table 3.8 Nationality by county, 2016
% of row
CountyIrishNon-IrishUKOther EU AfricaAsiaOther2
Border89.39.43.24.80.30.61.9
Cavan87.111.72.77.10.40.72.0
Donegal91.47.33.72.40.20.51.8
Leitrim87.511.14.75.20.10.42.0
Monaghan87.811.11.68.10.40.51.6
Sligo89.49.23.04.40.50.72.1
Midland87.910.72.06.70.50.92.1
Laois88.710.11.86.40.60.71.8
Longford83.614.72.89.60.60.92.5
Offaly89.98.51.75.80.10.42.0
Westmeath87.411.32.06.30.61.52.2
West88.010.83.15.60.30.72.3
Galway City79.118.61.911.51.02.14.5
Galway County90.68.42.64.10.20.42.1
Mayo89.010.04.04.70.20.51.6
Roscommon88.710.34.14.50.20.52.0
Dublin83.014.71.58.50.72.04.3
Dublin City79.717.11.49.20.82.56.4
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown87.511.52.05.30.32.22.7
Fingal82.016.01.510.90.91.33.4
South Dublin87.111.21.17.10.71.42.6
Mid-East88.810.11.86.20.50.71.9
Kildare88.410.61.76.60.40.91.9
Louth88.510.21.66.20.81.01.9
Meath88.810.11.76.70.50.51.9
Wicklow89.79.22.55.00.20.62.0
Mid-West89.39.32.35.10.30.92.1
Clare89.19.52.74.80.40.72.3
Limerick88.89.61.85.20.41.42.4
Tipperary90.08.92.65.20.10.41.6
South-East89.59.22.65.20.30.61.8
Carlow87.910.52.07.00.30.72.2
Kilkenny90.68.42.25.00.20.51.5
Waterford88.79.73.04.50.51.02.3
Wexford90.18.93.05.10.10.31.4
South-West87.711.02.66.40.40.72.1
Cork City84.414.11.58.50.61.93.2
Cork County88.810.12.66.00.40.51.7
Kerry87.510.83.55.70.30.62.4
Total87.011.42.26.50.51.12.7
Source: CSO Census of Population
1 Persons usually resident and present in the state by nationality and county where enumerated.
  • In 2016 11.4% of people living in Ireland were non-Irish. Dublin had the highest proportion of non-Irish at 14.7% while the South-East had the lowest proportion at 9.2%.
  • At county level, Galway City (18.6%) and Dublin City (17.1%) had the highest proportions of non-Irish people while Donegal (7.3%), Galway County (8.4%) and Kilkenny (8.4%) had the lowest.
  • UK nationals made up 2.2% of people living in Ireland in 2016 with the proportion varying from 3.2% in the Border region to 1.5% in Dublin.
  • At county level, Leitrim (4.7%) and Roscommon (4.1%) had the highest proportions of UK nationals while South Dublin (1.1%) and Dublin city (1.4%) had the lowest.
  • Note that the "other" category includes USA, other nationalities, multi nationality, no nationality and not stated.
Table 3.9 Proportion of managers, directors and senior officials who are female, 2012 and 2017
%
Region20122017
Border36.8*
Midland*35.7
West32.834.1
Dublin31.437.9
Mid-East29.332.7
Mid-West36.630.2
South-East32.329.3
South-West36.333.7
Total32.434.8
Source: CSO Labour Force Survey
* Indicates that the estimates for the numerator had less than 30 persons in a cell and are not produced as estimates are too small to be considered reliable.
  • About one in three managers, directors and senior officials were female in 2012 and in 2017, with the proportion rising from 32.4% in 2012 to 34.8% in 2017.
  • In the Dublin region 37.9% of managers, directors and senior officials were female in 2017 compared to 29.3% in the South-East.
8.1%
Proportion of local government seats held by women in Donegal
Table 3.10 Proportion of local government seats held by women by county, 2014
number of seats%
Region and countyMaleFemaleTotal% held by women
Border1162213815.9
Cavan1531816.7
Donegal343378.1
Leitrim1531816.7
Louth2272924.1
Monaghan1621811.1
Sligo1441822.2
Midland66107613.2
Laois1631915.8
Longford1621811.1
Offaly1721910.5
Westmeath1732015.0
West861910518.1
Galway city1531816.7
Galway county3363915.4
Mayo2553016.7
Roscommon1351827.8
Dublin 1236018332.8
Dublin city44196330.2
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown23174042.5
Fingal29114027.5
South Dublin27134032.5
Mid-East852711224.1
Kildare30104025.0
Meath29114027.5
Wicklow2663218.8
Mid-West75118612.8
Clare2532810.7
Limerick city1832114.3
Limerick county1631915.8
North Tipperary1621811.1
South-East1092113016.2
Carlow1621811.1
Kilkenny1952420.8
South Tipperary1662227.3
Waterford city1531816.7
Waterford county1221414.3
Wexford313348.8
South-West982111917.6
Cork city2653116.1
Cork county43125521.8
Kerry2943312.1
State75819194920.1
Source: Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
  • One in five (20.1%) local government seats were held by a woman after the 2014 local elections. 
  • Women held 32.8% of local government seats in Dublin and just 12.8% in the Mid-West region.
  • At county level, the highest proportion of seats held by women was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at 42.5% followed by South Dublin at 32.5%.
  • Less than 9% of seats were held by women in Donegal and Wexford.
Table 3.11 Number of third level grants awarded by county, 2015/2016
   
Region and countyNumber of grants awardedGrants awarded per 1,000 population
Border9,34923.7
Cavan1,64721.6
Donegal3,89424.5
Leitrim82425.7
Monaghan1,48624.2
Sligo1,49822.9
Midland6,00520.5
Laois1,45217.1
Longford91722.4
Offaly1,64121.0
Westmeath1,99522.5
West10,12322.3
Galway 5,45321.1
Mayo3,18024.4
Roscommon1,49023.1
Dublin15,42311.4
Mid-East11,51516.7
Kildare3,32014.9
Louth2,80221.7
Meath3,18616.3
Wicklow2,20715.5
Mid-West9,56820.2
Clare2,51621.2
Limerick3,81719.6
Tipperary3,23520.3
South-East8,56420.3
Carlow1,28722.6
Kilkenny1,71517.3
Waterford2,45721.1
Wexford3,10520.7
South-West12,17017.6
Cork 8,84816.3
Kerry3,32222.5
Total182,71717.4
Source: Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)
1 Total excludes 1,253 for which no county data was available.
  • There were 82,717 grants awarded by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) in 2015/2016, which was 17.4 per 1,000 population in Ireland.
  • The largest number of grants awarded, per 1,000 population, were in Leitrim at 25.7 followed by Donegal at 24.5, Mayo at 24.4 and Monaghan at 24.2.
  • Dublin had the fewest grants awarded per 1,000 population at 11.4, while Kildare had 14.9 and Wicklow had 15.5.
Grants awarded per 1,000 population
Border23.7083885954257
Midland20.5438913996189
West22.3412026686735
Dublin11.4468378509365
Mid-East16.7160963741386
Mid-West20.2168322877687
South-East20.2908577412797
South-West17.6229953299786

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