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How we are doing

There are many ways to assess how Ireland is doing – seeing changes over time, comparing Ireland internationally and also looking more deeply at intergenerational differences and differences by sex within Ireland. In this section of the Well-being Information Hub we attempt to provide overarching real-time answers to the question: “How is Ireland doing?”.

The graphic below provides a snap shot of Ireland's Well-being using statistical comparisons over time or comparisons from a variety of data sources.

 

Well-being Information Hub

How we are doing?

A snap shot of our Well-being in Ireland by statistical comparisons from a variety of data sources.
A giant clipboard with graphs and charts stands beside a woman with a clipboard and a man who is pointing
A green gauge going from an unhappy face to a neutral face to a happy face with a person under the gauge jumping with their arms in the air

Subjective Well-being

Persons aged 16+ that rated their overall life satisfaction as high in 2018
Ireland
44%
EU
25%
Illustration of a heart with a plus sign alongside a stethoscope

Mental and Physical Health

Healthy Life Years of a person born in 2019
Ireland
69.6
EU
64.6
Illustration of a piggy bank with some euro coins alongside an an arrow pointing diagonally down

Income and Wealth

Households which had great difficulty making ends meet
2014
16%
2019
7%
Illustration of  3 books alongside a graduates mortarboard hat

Knowledge and Skills

Students with level 3 proficiency in reading in 2018
Ireland
30%
OECD*
25%
Illustration of a partially constructed house with roofing beams visible

Housing and Local Area

Number of new dwelling completions in Ireland
2012
4,907
new dwellings
2020
20,535
new dwellings
Illustration of 2 power plant cooling towers, 2 smoke stacks and a box with a green circle on it

Environment, Climate and Biodiversity

Greenhouse Gas Emissions '000 Tonnes CO2 Equivalent
2013
58,000
2018
61,000
Illustration of an adult knelling next to and helping a younger person who is sitting and has a bandage on their leg

Safety and Security

Adult population worried they could a be a victim of crime causing physical injury in 2019
Males
11%
Females
19%
Illustration of a briefcase along side the female and male gender symbols

Work and Job Quality

Employment Rate of persons aged 15 - 64 in Q2 2021
Males
73%
Females
64%
Illustration of a briefcase in front of a larger clock

Time Use

Working long hours
2016
8.4%
2021
8.2%
Illustration of a person sitting, hugging their legs while 2 separate speech bubbles showing head and shoulders of another person in each float above their head

Community, Social Connections and Cultural Participation

Persons with more than two people they are close enough to that they could count on, if they had a serious problem in 2019
Aged 15-24
81%
Aged 75+
75%
Illustration of a voting box with a ballot paper sticking out showing a checked box

Civic Engagement and Cultural Expression

Satisfied with the way democracy works in their own country in 2021
Ireland
76%
EU
55%

Long-term change of Well-being Indicators

Given the range of many different objective and subjective measures of Well-being, it is very difficult to bring them together into one composite measure of how Ireland is doing. The Hub contains 35 different indicators, which in turn can be analysed by areas like age and sex. Individuals will, depending on their own experiences, naturally assign different weights to the relative importance of each of the Well-being themes. 

In this section of the Information Hub we assess change over the long-term (mainly 5 years). The latest update provides a broadly positive picture of life in Ireland, with the majority of indicators improving over the long-term. Areas of life that are improving include: Income and Wealth, for example households making ends meet with great difficulty, Mental and Physical Health, for example healthy life years. While areas showing dis-improvement over time include Environment, Climate and Biodiversity, for example greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, grime and other environmental problems. See graph and table below.

Change is assessed mainly over a 5 year basis in the graph below, however trend information for each indicator can be accessed by clicking on the relevant indicator in the text box below.

Positive changeNo changeNegative change
Longterm change131210

 

Long-term change (mainly 5 years) of Well-being Indicators
Positive Change No Change Negative Change
Population rating their Overall Life Satisfaction as High Population reporting Depression  School aged Children who report being Happy with their Life at Present
Population who Did Not Feel Depressed or Downhearted in the Previous 4 weeks  Unmet Need for Medical Attention  Research and Development Personnel
Healthy Life Years Reading and Maths Performance in 15 Year Olds  Pollution, Grime and Other Environmental Problems 
Median Real Household Disposable Income Average Distance to Everyday Services  Water Bodies Assessed as High or Good
Median Household Net Wealth Waste to Landfill  Greenhouse Gas Emissions
 Households making Ends Meet with Great Difficulty Population who worry they could be a Victim of Crime  Murder Rate per 100,000 Population
Lifelong Learning Rate  Carers providing at Least 20 hrs Care Per Week  Persons Killed or Injured on Roads
A or B Domestic Dwelling Energy Rating Population who Feel Lonely  Labour Underutilisation Rate
New Dwelling Completions Population with at least 2 people they are close enough to count on if they had a serious problem  Persons who experienced Discrimination in the Previous 2 Years 
Employment Rate Satisfaction with How Democracy Works in Ireland Net Government Worth 
Mean Weekly Earnings Perceived Social Inclusion  
Long Working Hours in Main Job At Risk of Poverty Rate after Rent and Mortgage Interest   
Population satisfied with Time Use    

 

Over-arching Well-being Framework for Ireland

The Well-being Hub is a part of broader cross-Government work to develop and promote a well-being approach to policy-making and analysis. An overarching Well-being Framework for Ireland has been developed by Government, which clearly defines all the important elements for collective Well-being in Ireland. The CSO’s Well-being Information Hub flows from this overarching Framework.
 
As part of this work, the Government is launching today (26th October 2021) a public conversation on Ireland’s Well-being Framework, which aims to create awareness, test the framework and to get a sense of people’s priorities. This includes the publication of a Well-being Framework which will allow users to explore the initiative in more depth. It also provides some initial analysis of how Ireland is doing and highlights ongoing and future work in the area. 

Further information on public conversation

The public conversation on the Well-being Framework for Ireland will include a broad programme of engagement with both internal and external stakeholders and wider society. This will include a social media campaign, survey, a wide-ranging stakeholder event, and a series of workshops and discussions that will explore specific areas of interest such as the views of young people, how to promote sustainable Well-being for future generations, maximising linkages between national and local approaches and closing data gaps.