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Introduction

Banner with CSO and SDG logos

This report on regional life in Ireland in 2017 is the third in the series from the CSO. It has been re-ordered in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of global development targets adopted by United Nations (UN) member countries in September 2015. The CSO, Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and Esri-Ireland (Environment Systems Research Institute) established a project team in April 2017 to engage with a combined UN Statistics Division (UNSD) Esri research exercise with a goal to develop and deploy a new approach for monitoring the UN SDGs using geographic information systems. The result of this exercise is a new website, hosted on OSi's Geohive platform, which contains indicators for Ireland on the UN SDGs. It is intended that all the indicators in this Regional report will be loaded onto the Geohive. 

Highlights in maps

Poverty, employment, education

One in four people (25.7%) living in the Border region was at risk of poverty in 2017. The at risk of poverty rates in Dublin (11.7%) and the Mid-West (12.9%) were less than half the rate of the Border region.

The highest employment rate in 2017 was in the South-West at 70.1% followed Dublin at 69.1% while the lowest was in the Midland region at 59.4%.

One in three people nationally whose full-time education has ceased had a third level qualification. This proportion was highest in Dublin at 40.7% and lowest in the Midland region at 26.4%.

Population density, housing vacancy, average rent

The Dublin region had by far the highest population density in 2016, at 1,458 persons per square kilometre. The lowest population density was in the West at 33 persons per square kilometre followed by the Border at 35.

About one in eight (12.3%) dwellings were vacant in Ireland in 2016. Leitrim (29%), Donegal (27.4%) and Kerry (24%) had the highest vacancy rates.  The lowest rates were in the Dublin region with South Dublin at 3.6%, Fingal at 5% and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at 5.5%.

The average rent in 2016 was €200 a week for households in private rented accommodation. The four highest average weekly rents were all in Dublin: Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (€335), Dublin City (€276), Fingal (€261) and South Dublin (€259). Leitrim (€99) and Longford (€101) had the lowest average weekly rents.

Travel to work, time started, car ownership

Just over half (52.2%) of all workers took less than 30 minutes to travel to work in 2016. Workers in Dublin and the Mid-East were less likely to have a short commute, with 43.7% of Dublin workers and 45.1% of workers in the Mid-East taking less than 30 minutes to travel to work. In contrast, more than 60% of workers in the Border and the South-East had a commute of less than 30 minutes. A commute of one hour or more was experienced by nearly one in five (18.3%) workers in the Mid-East.

Commuters from the Mid-East, Midlands and Dublin were more likely to leave for work by 7.30am. About 39% of workers in the Mid-East and about 32% of workers in the Midlands and Dublin started their journey to work by 7.30am compared to 25.8% of commuters in the Border region. About a third of commuters from the Border (35%) and West (33.9%) started their journey after 8.30am compared to 25.6% of works in the Mid-East.

There were 558 private cars per 1,000 persons aged 17 and over in Ireland in 2016. The highest rates were in Roscommon (645), Carlow (637) and Wexford (635). The counties with the fewest cars per 1,000 persons aged 17 and over were Dublin (496), Louth (522) and Donegal (524).

Central heating

About four of ten households had oil central heating in Ireland in 2016 with the highest proportion in Monaghan at 76.3% while Dublin City had the lowest at 5.8%.

Just over three out of ten households had natural gas central heating. Nearly three-quarters (74.2%) of households in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown used natural gas compared to just 1% in Wexford.

Peat (including turf) was used by only 5.3% of households nationally but was used extensively in Offaly (37.9% of households), Roscommon (26.6%), Galway County (23%) and Longford (20.8%).

Fertility rates, divorce rates

The fertility rate in Ireland in 2016 was 1.81, below the replacement level of 2.1, but fertility rates varied around the country.  The highest rates were 2.25 in Longford and 2.21 in both Cavan and Waterford County. Fertility rates were also above the replacement level of 2.1 in both Galway County (2.16) and Leitrim (2.15).

The four lowest fertility rates were all in city areas – Dublin City (1.46), Cork City (1.50), Galway City (1.60) and Waterford City (1.61).

There were 3,264 divorces granted in Ireland in 2015 and this gave a divorce rate of 0.7 per 1,000 population.  The lowest rate was in the West at 0.3 while the rate in Dublin was three times higher than in the West at 0.9 per 1,000 population. About 38% of all divorces granted in 2015 were in Dublin while the counties with the fewest number of divorces granted were Longford (22), Leitrim (28) and Galway (33).

Broadband, medical cards, penalty points

Seven out of every ten private households (70.7%) had broadband access in 2016. The counties with the lowest rates of broadband access were Leitrim (58%), Longford (58.9%) and Roscommon (59.8%). The Dublin region had the three counties with the highest rates of broadband access – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (86%), Fingal (85%) and South Dublin (83.3%). There is a difference of nearly 30 percentage points between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown which has the highest broadband access at 86% and Leitrim which has the lowest at 58%.

Just over one in six Irish drivers had penalty points (17.7%) in December 2017. Wexford (21.5%), Galway (20.5%), Kildare (20.4%) and Kilkenny (20.4%) had the highest proportions of drivers with penalty points. The lowest rates were in Donegal at 12.9%, Louth at 13.6% and Leitrim at 14.3%.

Just over a third (34.4%) of people had a medical card in April 2017. The proportion varied widely from 43.1% in the Border to just 27.6% in Dublin.

Main findings

National: The Dublin region had by far the highest population density in 2016, at 1,458 persons per square kilometre. The lowest population density was in the West at 33 persons per square kilometre followed by the Border at 35. About a quarter of the population was aged under 15 years in Meath, Laois and Fingal in 2016. The lowest proportions of people aged under 15 years were in the cities of Cork (14.3%), Dublin (15%) and Galway (16.8%).

Nearly a third (32.7%) of those aged 65 and over lived alone in Leitrim compared to just 20.6% In Fingal. More than half (55.9%) of the people in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown were in the “professional worker” or “managerial & technical” social classes, while Longford had the smallest proportion in this class at just 27.8%. (Tables 1.2, 1.4, 1.8, 1.9)

Poverty and Health: The fertility rate in Ireland was 1.81 in 2016, below the theoretical replacement level of 2.1. The highest fertility rates were 2.25 in Longford and 2.21 in both Cavan and Waterford County. The four lowest rates were all in city areas – Dublin City (1.46), Cork City (1.50), Galway City (1.60) and Waterford City (1.61).

About 43% of the people in the Border region had a medical card in 2017 compared to just 27.6% In Dublin.

Nationally 15.7% of people were at risk of poverty in 2017 with the highest rate of 25.7% in the Border region. The at risk of poverty rates in Dublin (11.7%) and the Mid-West (12.9%) were less than half the rate of the Border region. (Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.9)

Education and inequality: In Dublin 40.7% of those who had ceased their full-time education had a third level qualification in 2016 compared with 26.4% of those in the Midland region. People from the Border and South-East regions were more likely to finish their education at a younger 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.

The average number of primary pupils per school was less than 100 in three counties – Roscommon, Mayo and Leitrim.  The highest average number of primary pupils per school were all in Dublin – Fingal (401.4), South Dublin (350.7) and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (305.1). The highest proportions of third level students attending University were in Galway (63.4%), Kildare (60.6%) and Cork (59.2%). The highest proportions of third level students attending Institutes of Technology were in Donegal (57.5%), Waterford (55.5%) and Carlow (53.4%). The largest number of student grants awarded per 1,000 population in 2015/2016 were in Leitrim at 25.7 followed by Donegal at 24.5. Dublin had the fewest grants awarded per 1,000 population at 11.4, while Kildare had 14.9 and Wicklow had 15.5

The highest proportions of non-Irish people were in Galway City (18.6%) and Dublin City (17.1%) while Donegal (7.3%), Galway County (8.4%) and Kilkenny (8.4%) had the lowest. One in five (20.1%) local government seats were held by a woman after the 2014 local elections but this proportion varied widely across the country. The highest proportion of seats held by women was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at 42.5% followed by South Dublin at 32.5% compared to less than 9% of seats in Wexford and Donegal. (Tables 3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.10, 3.11)

Environment: Just over three-quarters (76.3%) of households in Monaghan used oil for central heating compared to just 5.8% in Dublin City. Peat (including turf) was used by only 5.3% of households nationally for central heating but this figure rose to 37.9% for Offaly and 26.6% in Roscommon. Kerry, Donegal and Mayo accounted for close to half (43%) of all the Blue Flag beach awards in 2018. There were 14 Blue Flags in Kerry, 13 in Donegal and 12 in Mayo. (Tables 4.1, 4.3)

Economy and employment: The highest disposable income per person was in the Dublin region at €23,298 in 2015 while the lowest was in Donegal at €15,705. The South-West region had the highest employment rate in 2017 at 70.1% and the lowest rate of unemployment at 5.2%. The Midland region had the lowest employment rate of 59.4% and the highest unemployment rate at 10.1%.

Workers from the Mid-East and Midland regions were most likely to have long travel times to work. Just over 18% of workers from the Mid-East and 15% of Midland workers had a commute of one hour or more compared to just 7.3% of workers from the Mid-West. Workers from the Mid-East, Midland and Dublin regions were more likely to leave for work by 7.30am. About 39% of Mid-East workers and about 32% of Midland and Dublin workers started their journey to work by 7.30am compared to 25.8% of commuters in the Border region.

Just over one in six Irish drivers had penalty points (17.7%) in 2017. The highest proportions of drivers with penalty points were in Wexford (21.5%), Galway (20.5%), Kildare (20.4%) and Kilkenny (20.4%). The lowest rates of penalty points were in Donegal at 12.9% followed by Louth at 13.6% and Leitrim at 14.3%. (Tables 5.1, 5.7, 5.8.5.12, 5.13, 5.14)

Sustainability: The lowest proportion of household waste collected in black bins were in Kerry (34.8%), Fingal (35.1%) and Galway city (35.5%). The counties with the highest proportion of household waste collected in black bins were Monaghan (65%), Donegal (64%) and Longford (60.8%). There was a large variation across Ireland in the proportion of household waste collected in kerbside recyclables (i.e., green bin, brown bin and glass) from a high of 40.3% in Galway city to just 9.8% in Westmeath. The highest rates of private car registrations per 1,000 population were in Roscommon (645), Carlow (637) and Wexford (635). The counties with the lowest rates of private car registrations were Dublin (496), Louth (522) and Donegal (524). (Tables 6.9, 6.11)

Justice: The divorce rate in Ireland was 0.7 per 1,000 population in 2015. The lowest divorce rate was in the West at 0.3. The rate in Dublin was three times higher than in the West at 0.9 per 1,000 population. The lowest rates of broadband access in 2016 were in Leitrim (58%), Longford (58.9%) and Roscommon (59.8%). The three counties with the highest rates of broadband access were all in the Dublin region – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (86%), Fingal (85%) and South Dublin (83.3). There is a difference of 28 percentage points between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown which has the highest broadband access at 86% and Leitrim which has the lowest at 58%. (Tables 7.1, 7.5)

 

For further information contact:
Helen Cahill +353 1 4984253 or Niamh Wallis +353 1 4984289

or Information Section, Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork  T12 X00E

Phone +353 21 453 5036
Fax +353 21 453 5555
Email: sdg@cso.ie
Website: www.cso.ie
Twitter.com/CSOIreland
www.facebook.com/CSOIreland

 

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