Measuring Ireland's Progress by Annette J Dunlea
The social partnership agreement 2003-2005 requested the CSO to support a move towards more evidence- based policy-making by developing a set of national progress indicators. In its report, Developing Irish Social and Equality Statistics to meet Policy Needs, the NSB asked the CSO to prepare a preliminary national progress indicators report.It was intended that this initial report would facilitate discussions between the main users and producers of key economic and social statistics with a view to reaching consensus on the most appropriate set of indicators to determine whether target national economic and social outcomes are being achieved.
Consumer prices fell in Ireland in 2009 and 2010 but prices remain high by EU standards. Ireland was the fifth most expensive EU state in 2010, after Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden with prices 18% above the EU average. However this represents a considerable improvement on 2009 when Irish prices were 26% above the EU average and second only to Denmark.Ireland has remained in recession in 2010, with a negative growth rate experienced by the economy for the third year in a row. The public balance deficit was the highest of any EU member state at just under a third of GDP, while government debt increased to just over 96% of GDP, having been at only 25% of GDP in 2007.Ireland’s employment rate was below the EU average, and its unemployment rate was the sixth highest rate in the EU. The productivity of the Irish workforce remained above the EU average.
In 2010, Ireland had the highest proportion of young people in the EU, and the lowest proportion of old people.Average class size at primary level in Ireland is the second highest in the EU, though the early schoolleaver rate is better than the EU average. Irish 15 year old students had the joint 17th highest mathematical literacy among participating EU countries in 2009 while on reading literacy Ireland was eighth highest. The proportion of the population aged 25-34 in Ireland that has completed third-level education is the third highest in the EU. Ireland has the lowest divorce rate and the highest fertility rate in the EU, and its population is increasing at a higher rate than in any other EU country.Over the four-year period 2005-2009, the number of kidnapping and related offences nearly doubled while the number of controlled drug offences increased by nearly two-thirds and the number of weapons and explosives offences increased by more than half. The number of murders/manslaughters recorded in Ireland fell from its peak of 84 in 2007 to 60 in 2009. Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2009 and were below the Kyoto target for the first time since 1996 and its level of acid rain precursor emissions continues to fall.
The GDP growth rate was -0.4% in 2010. The public balance deficit was 32.4% of GDP, the largest by far of any EU member state. And government debt increased substantially to 96.2% of GDP in 2010, the fourth highest debt/GDP ratio in the EU, having been 25% only three years previously. Nonetheless, in 2010 Ireland had the joint third highest GDP per capita in the EU at 25% above the EU average, although, based on GNI, Ireland was the eleventh highest. Ireland’s gross fixed capital formation fell sharply since 2007 to only 11.3% of GDP in 2010, lower than any other EU state. The productivity of the Irish workforce in 2010, measured by GDP per person employed, was just over a third higher than the EU average. As Irish employees work longer hours, the productivity per hour worked is relatively lower, but still about 23% above the EU average.
Inflation in Ireland (as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices) fell in 2010, with Latvia being the only other EU state where prices fell. Over the past decade, Ireland became less competitive,with the harmonised competitiveness indicator (deflated by consumer prices) increasing by 17% between 2001 and 2010; this indicates a significant deterioration in price competitiveness for Ireland vis-à-vis our main trading partners. Appreciation of the Euro against other major currencies contributed to this decline. Ireland had the fifth highest price levels in the EU in 2010.The employment rate (for those aged 15-64) in Ireland rose from 65.7% in 2001 to 69.2% in 2007, but fell to 58.9% by 2011. The male employment rate was stable over the 2001 to 2008 period at about 76% but fell sharply over the next three years to 62.6% in early 2011. The female employment rate increased from 54.6% in 2001 to 60.7% in 2007 before falling to 55.3% in early 2011. In 2010, Ireland’s employment rate was below the EU average, and its unemployment rate was the sixth highest rate in the EU.
In 2009, 5.5% of the population were in consistent poverty. This was an increase on the level recorded in 2008, when 4.2% of the population was living in consistent poverty. Voter turnout at Dáil elections gradually declined from over 76% in the 1970s to less than 63% in 2002 before increasing to nearly 70% in February 2011. There was a general decline in voting turnout in most EU countries between 1984 and 2009. Ireland’s net official development assistance increased from 0.41% of GNI in 2005 to 0.54% in 2009, still short of the UN 2007 target of 0.7%.Irish 15 year old students had the joint 17th highest mathematical literacy among participating EU countries in 2009 and were below the OECD average, while on reading literacy Ireland was eighth highest and ranked slightly above the OCED average. In 2010, 46% of the population aged 25-34 had completed third level education, the third highest rate across the EU. The proportion of the Irish population aged 18-24 who left school with at most lower secondary education was 10.5% in 2010, better than the EU average of 14.1%. Average class size at primary level in Ireland in 2008/2009 was 24.2, the second highest in the EU.
Current public expenditure on health care in Ireland averaged €3,234 per person in 2009 (at constant2010 prices), an increase of more than half on the 2000 level. Life expectancy at birth in Ireland is 76.8 years for males and 81.6 years for females, and these figures are reasonably close to the EU average. A 65- year old man in Ireland can now expect to live a further 16.6 years, while a 65-year old woman can expect to live 19.8 years.
Ireland had the highest percentage increase in population between 2000 and 2010 in the EU.The rate of natural increase of the population in Ireland was 10.2 per 1,000 in 2009 compared with an EU average of only 1.0. In 2009, Ireland was the only EU country with a fertility rate greater than 2; the EU average was 1.6. The divorce rate in Ireland was 0.7 divorces per 1,000 population in 2009, the lowest rate in the EU. In 2010, Ireland had the highest proportion of young people (0-14) in the EU, and the lowest proportion of old people (65 and over); these combined to give Ireland an age dependency ratio that was similar to the
EU average. The number of dwelling units built increased sharply to peak at almost 90,000 in 2006 before collapsing to 14,600 in 2010, back to the level it was at in 1970. The average value of a new housing loan in Ireland rose from €102,300 in 2000 to €266,400 in 2007 before dropping to €231,600 in 2009.
The number of kidnapping and related offences nearly doubled over the four year period 2005-2009 while the number of controlled drug offences increased by nearly two-thirds and the number of weapons and explosives offences increased by more than half. However, the number of murders/manslaughters in Ireland decreased from its peak of 84 in 2007 to 60 in 2009. Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions were at 112.1% of 1990 levels in 2009. This was lower than the Kyoto 2008-2010 target (by 0.9 percentage points). The level of acid rain precursor emissions fell from 464.6 SO2 equivalent per 1,000 tonnes of gas emitted in 2000 to 318.1 in 2008, 4% above the Gothenburg Protocol 2010 target level of 306. This decrease is mainly due to lower levels of sulphur dioxide emissions.The percentage of waste recovered in Ireland rose to 37% in 2009, and 58% of waste was landfilled.The landfill percentage varies widely in EU states, from 96.2% in Bulgaria to only 0.3% in Germany, where incineration is used to convert waste to energy.
Gross Domestic Product in Ireland (at current market prices) fell for the third year in a row in 2010. Having peaked at €189.9 billion in 2007, GDP fell 5.2% in 2008,10.8% in 2009 and a further 2.9% to €156 billion in 2010. Gross National Income per capita (at constant 2009 prices) fell in 2008 and 2009 and was almost unchanged in 2010, when it amounted to €29,959, less than the 2001 value of €30,488. The relationship between GDP and GNI in Ireland is exceptional among EU countries, with Luxembourg the only other country where the difference between the two measures is more than 10% of GDP. The gap reflects the importance of foreign
direct investment to the Irish economy. Luxembourg had a GNI/GDP ratio of 71.2 compared with 82.9 for Ireland in 2010, while the average for the EU countries was 99.9.The GDP growth rate in Ireland was over 5% in 2006 and 2007 but fell sharply to -3% in 2008, with a further steep decline to -7% in 2009. In 2010 the growth rate
recovered somewhat but remained negative at -0.4%.The growth rate in GDP in Ireland in 2010 was the third lowest in the EU, after Greece and Romania. The only other states with negative growth rates were Spain and Latvia. The highest GDP growth rate in 2010 was in Sweden at 5.7%, followed by Slovakia at 4%. GDP growth rates were negative in every EU country in 2009 with the exception of
Poland.The growth rate in GNI in Ireland was 0.3% in 2010, following negative growth rates of -2.7% in 2008 and -9.8% in 2009. Despite the drop in GDP in recent years, Ireland still had the joint third highest GDP per capita within the EU in 2010, expressed in terms of purchasing power standards. Using this measure Ireland was 46% above the EU average in 2006 but has since fallen to 25% above in 2010. The pattern of GNI per capita in Ireland is similar, falling from 28% above the EU average in 2006 to just 4% above by 2010. In 2010 all twelve of the new EU Member States, as well as Greece and Portugal,were below the EU average.
General government consolidated gross debt as a percentage of GDP in Ireland declined from 35.5% to 25% over the 2001-2007 period but increased steeply in 2008 to 44.4%, followed by further sharp rises to 65.6% in 2009 and 96.2% in 2010. The debt to GNI ratio in Ireland followed a similar pattern and rose steeply from 28.8% in 2007 to 116.1% in 2010. Ireland had the fourth highest debt to GDP ratio in the EU in 2010, behind Greece, Italy and Belgium. The Eurozone 16 figure over the period 2000 to 2008 remained close to 70% before rising to 79.4% in 2009 and 85.3% in 2010. With the exception of Hungary, the new EU Member States had lower than average debt to GDP ratios in 2010.The public balance in Ireland was 0.1% of GDP in 2007 but fell sharply to -7.3% in 2008, exceeding the 3% of GDP deficit limit in the EMU Stability and Growth Pact. In 2009 there was another sharp fall to -14.3% of GDP followed by a very steep decline to -32.4% in 2010. In 2010 Ireland had the largest public balance deficit by far in the EU, followed by Greece, the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal. Twenty five of the EU member states had a public balance deficit in 2010 and twenty two EU member states exceeded the 3% of GDP deficit limit under the EMU Stability and Growth Pact.Current expenditure by central and local government as a percentage of GDP has increased consistently each year over the period 2001 to 2010, rising from just over a quarter of GDP in 2001 (26.1%) to nearly 40% in 2010.
Between 2001 and 2007, Ireland had a higher rate of investment in gross fixed capital formation than the EU average, rising from 22.4% of GDP to 26.4% over this time period. However, in 2008 the rate of investment fell to 22.1% (just above the EU average) and fell sharply in 2009 to 15.5% and again in 2010 to stand at 11.3%, well below the EU average of 18.5%. This drop in investment over the last three years is linked to the decline in the construction sector in Ireland over the same time period. Ireland had the lowest rate of investment in 2010 in the EU at 11.3% of GDP followed by the United Kingdom and Greece (both at 14.7%). The highest rates were in Bulgaria (23.5%) and Romania (22.7%).The deficit in the current account in Ireland’s balance of international payments rose from 3.5% of GDP in 2006 to 5.6% in 2008 and then decreased to 2.9% in 2009. However in 2010 the deficit changed to a surplus of 0.5% of GDP. Fourteen member states had current account deficits in 2010, with the largest in Greece (10.5%) and Portugal (9.9%).Direct investment in Ireland by foreign companies in 2010 was positive. It represented 12.7% of GDP and was the third highest rate in the EU, behind Luxembourg at 276.4% and Cyprus at 21%. Outward investment by companies resident in Ireland into their foreign subsidiaries and associates fell from 11.9% of GDP in 2009 to 8.6% in 2010. Increases in outward direct investment are shown with a negative sign. Ireland’s economy is very open, with very high levels of trade in both goods and services. As a result, both imports and exports as a % of GDP are the second highest in the EU, after Luxembourg.
The euro appreciated significantly in value against the dollar between 2001 and 2004, from 0.896 in 2001 to 1.244 dollars in 2004. Between 2004 and 2006 the value of the euro against the US dollar was more stable. In 2007 and 2008 the euro increased significantly against the dollar once again to 1.471 dollars in 2008, before falling back to 1.326 dollars in 2010. The relationship between the euro and the pound sterling was stable between 2001 and 2007. In 2008 and 2009 there was a sharp rise in the euro against sterling followed by a slight decrease in 2010. The real harmonised competitiveness indicator (deflated by consumer prices) can be interpreted as a real effective exchange rate and takes into account changes in domestic inflation relative to price changes in the most important 57 trading partners,along with exchange rate developments. Ireland’s real HCI disimproved over the period 2001-2008, from 95.8 in 2001 to 123.8 in 2008, mainly due to higher inflation and an appreciating euro. This indicator improved slightly in 2009 and improved more significantly in 2010 to 112.5,mainly due to deflation and a depreciating euro. The rate of change in consumer prices in Ireland, as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, was higher than the EU average from 2001 to 2003.Between 2004 and 2008 the change in consumer prices in Ireland was broadly similar to the averages for the EU and for the Eurozone. However in 2009 and 2010 the rate of change in consumer prices in Ireland decreased and was the lowest in the EU. The six EU countries with the highest cumulative rate of change in consumer prices between 2006 and 2010 are all new EU member states.
Ireland became more expensive between 2001 and 2002. Between 2002 and 2009 our price levels for final consumption by private households have been about 25% above the EU average with a spike in 2008 when our price levels were about 29% above the EU average. However In 2010, price levels for final consumption by private households in Ireland fell sharply to 18.2% above the EU average, giving Ireland the fifth highest prices levels among EU countries, after Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden. Bulgaria was the cheapest country by far in the EU in 2010, with prices at only half of the EU average.Over the period 1999 to 2006, the proportion of male mathematics, science and technology graduates was close to or above 30 per 1,000 males aged 20-29, falling to 25.5 in 2007 before rising to 27.1 in 2008. The proportion of female graduates in these disciplines per 1,000 females aged 20-29 has fallen by about a third over this time period, from 18.5 per 1,000 females to just under 12. In 2008 the proportion of mathematics, science and technology PhDs awarded in Ireland, at 0.8 per 1,000 population aged 25-34, was higher than the EU average of 0.6. Ireland had the seventh highest rate in the EU in 2008, while Sweden had the highest rate at 1.6.
Between 1999 and 2008 Ireland consistently spent less on research and development as a percentage of GDP/GNI than the EU average. However the gap narrowed in 2008 and 2009, helped somewhat by falling levels of GDP/GNI in those years. By 2009 Ireland’s expenditure as a % of GNI at 2.13% exceeded the EU average of 2.01%. The big research and development investors in 2009 were Finland and Sweden.Investment was also high in Denmark, Germany and Austria.The rate of applications from Ireland to the European Patent Office is significantly lower than the EU average. There are about 60 applications from Ireland per million population and this rate has remained steady for several years. The EU rate has been climbing slightly and in 2007 stood at close to 120 per million population. The EU average masks large variations, as graph 2.6 shows. The rate is negligible in Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Poland and highest for Sweden at nearly 300 per million population. But the highest rate by far is for Switzerland which, at 429 applications per million population, is about seven times the Irish rate.About seven out of ten (71%) of all private households in Ireland had a computer connected to the Internet in 2010. Since 1998, when only one in twenty households had a computer connected to the internet, there has been strong growth each year in internet connections. The Netherlands, at 91%, had the highest rate of household Internet access in the EU in 2010. Ireland, at 72%, was ranked eleventh in the EU in 2010. The EU average was 70% of households.
The overall employment rate in Ireland for those aged 15-64 rose from 65.7% in 2001 to 69.2% in 2007, before decreasing sharply to 58.9% in the first quarter of 2011. The male employment rate was stable over the 2001 to 2008 period at about 76% but declined steeply over the next three years to 62.6% in early 2011.The female employment rate increased from 54.6% in 2001 to 60.4% in 2008 before falling to 55.3% in early 2011. The male employment rate in Ireland was 22.1 percentage points above the female rate in 2001 but this gap had narrowed to just 7.3 percentage points by early
2011. Ireland’s overall employment rate, at 60.4%, was below the average EU rate of 64.2% in 2010. The highest employment rate in the EU was in the Netherlands at 74.7% while the lowest was in Hungary at 55.4%.The productivity of the Irish workforce can be measured by GDP in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) per person employed. In 2010 productivity per person employed stands at just over a third higher than the EU average. As Irish employees work longer hours, productivity per hour worked is lower, at 23.2% above the EU average. Ireland had the second highest productivity rate among EU states in 2010, after Luxembourg. The twelve new EU member states, along with Greece and Portugal,have productivity rates lower than the EU average.
The unemployment rate in Ireland had fallen to 3.8% in 2001 having been significantly higher in the 1990s. Over the following six years the rate remained fairly stable at around 4.5% and then increased to 5.7% in 2008. In 2009 the unemployment rate in Ireland more than doubled to 12%. The rate continued to increase over the last two years to stand at 14.1% in early 2011. Up to 2008 the unemployment rate in Ireland was consistently lower than the rate for the EU. However by 2010 the unemployment rate in Ireland was the sixth highest in the EU, above the EU average of 9.6%. The highest unemployment rate in the EU in 2010 was in Spain (20.1%). Fourteen EU countries, including Ireland, had higher male than female unemployment rates in 2010, with Ireland having the largest gender differential in the EU: 16.7% of males and 9.8% of females were unemployed. The long-term unemployment rate (those unemployed for a year or more) in Ireland was fairly stable at around 1.4% between 2001 and 2008 but it has increased strongly in recent years to 5.9% in 2010 and 7.8% in early 2011. The EU long-term unemployment rate was around 4% between 2001 and 2005 and then decreased over the following few years to 2.6% in 2008 before rising to 3.8% in 2010. In 2010 the long-term unemployment rate for Ireland was 5.9%, compared with an EU average of 3.8%, and was the sixth highest in the EU. The long-term unemployment rate for men in Ireland was just over two and a half times that for women in 2010 while at EU level the rates for women and men were similar. The proportion of the population aged 18-59 living in jobless households in Ireland was relatively stable over the period 2000 to 2008, generally around 8% or 9%.However the proportion increased sharply in 2009 to 12.9%. In 2009, Hungary was the Ireland had the ninth highest employment rate for people aged 55-64 in the EU in 2010 at 50% and was above the EU average of 46.3%. The highest rate, by a wide margin, was in Sweden at 70.5%. In Ireland, 58.1% of men aged 55-64 were employed in 2010 compared with 42% of women. In the EU the rates were 54.6% for males and 38.6% for females.only EU state with a higher proportion of 18-59 year olds living in jobless households than Ireland.
Social protection expenditure21 as a proportion of GDP was lower in Ireland over the period 1999-2008 than in the EU. Expenditure in Ireland increased from13.9% in 2000 to 22.1% in 2008.
Social protection expenditure on a per capita basis in Ireland increased from 5,549 PPPs in 2004 to 7,460 PPPs in 2008. This placed Ireland tenth among EU countries in 2008 and above the EU average. Luxembourg’s expenditure on social protection in 2008 was the highest by far in the EU, and was nearly double that of Ireland, at 14,057 PPPs per capita.Ireland’s expenditure on social protection was 22.1% of GDP compared with an EU average of 26.4%. France was the highest at 30.8% and Latvia the lowest at 12.6%. Social protection expenditure on old age and survivors was 5.5% of GDP and
6.3% of GNI in Ireland in 2008, compared with 11.5% in the EU, partly reflecting the fact that in 2010 Ireland had the lowest proportion of persons aged over 65 in the EU. Ireland’s expenditure on social protection was 22.1% of GDP compared with an EU average of 26.4%. France was the highest at 30.8% and Latvia the lowest at 12.6%. Social protection expenditure on old age and survivors was 5.5% of GDP and 6.3% of GNI in Ireland in 2008, compared with 11.5% in the EU, partly reflecting the fact that in 2010 Ireland had the lowest proportion of persons aged over 65 in the EU. In 2009, 5.5% of the population were living in consistent poverty with little difference between women (5.4%) and men (5.5%). This was an increase on the level recorded in 2008, when 4.2% of the population was living in consistent poverty. Younger people are more likely to be in consistent poverty with 8.2% of children under the age of fifteen in consistent poverty in 2009, an increase on the figure of 6.1% recorded in 2008. Just 1.1% of those aged 65 and over were in consistent poverty in 2009. In 2009, 11.5% of unemployed persons, 11.4% of students and 8.8% of ill or disabled people were in consistent poverty compared with just 1.1% of people at work.On average, female employees were paid 16% an hour less than male employees in Ireland in 2009 while the average EU gender pay gap was 17%.Of those EU countries for which data was available in 2009, Slovenia had the lowest gender pay gap at 3% while the Czech Republic had the highest at 26%.
Voter turnout at Dáil elections gradually declined from over 76% in the 1970s to less than 63% in 2002 before increasing to 67% in 2007 and rising again to just under 70% in 2011. Most EU countries showed a decrease in voter turnout over the period 1984-2009. Ireland had a slightly higher rate of turnout in the election of 2011 compared with many other national parliamentary elections across the EU in the period 2004- 2009. The average turnout for EU countries in that period was 69.7%. Voting is compulsory by law in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and parts of Austria and Switzerland and for the French Senate, but levels of enforcement vary.Net official development assistance in Ireland as a percentage of Gross National Income increased from 0.28% in 2000 to 0.59% in 2008 before dropping to 0.54% in 2009. In 2009, the Irish contribution was above the 2002 interim Irish Government target of 0.45% of GNI but below the UN 2007 target of 0.7%. Four EU countries (Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands) and Norway exceeded the UN target in 2009.
Real expenditure per student in Ireland increased over the period 2001-2010 by nearly half (47.6%) at first level and by a third at second level. There was a decrease of 8.3% at third level over the same time period. Expenditure per student in 2010 at primary level was just over two-thirds that at third level (68.1%) while expenditure at second level was nearly 94% that at third level.Student numbers increased by 15.3% at first level and 2.8% at second level between 2001 and 2010. Over the same period, the number of full-time third level students increased strongly by 29.3% while the number of part-time students fell sharply by just over a fifth ( 21.2%).Public expenditure on education in Ireland as a percentage of both GNI and GDP increased between 2006 and 2008 and was above the EU average over this time period. When expenditure is examined per pupil/student in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS), Ireland was also above the EU average in 2008, with the seventh highest expenditure in the EU. Ireland had a student to teacher ratio of 15.9 at primary education level (ISCED 1) in 2008/2009. This was the tenth highest ratio in the EU. The overall student to teacher ratio for first and second level education for Ireland in 2008/2009 was 14.4, which was the seventh highest ratio in the EU.In 2008/2009, the average class size in Ireland for primary education was 24.2 which was the second highest among reporting EU countries, after the United Kingdom. However, at ISCED 2 level (lower secondary) Ireland had the tenth lowest ratio.
Over the period 2002-2010, the proportion of females aged 25-34 in Ireland with 3rd level education rose from 37.5% in 2002 to 52.3% in 2010. Over the same period,the rate for males increased from 31.2% to 35.6% in 2004 before falling back to 33.3% in 2006 and then increasing to 38.9% in 2010. In 2010, 45.7% of the population aged 25-34 in Ireland had third level education,which was the third highest rate in the EU and compares with 32.5% across the EU as a whole. In all EU countries more females than males aged 25-34 had third level education.Ireland had the joint 17th highest mathematical literacy for 15 year old students among participating EU countries in 2009 and was below the OECD average.Boys in Ireland performed better than girls in mathematical literacy, with an average score of 491 compared with 483 for girls, which reflected a similar trend across OECD countries.However on reading literacy Ireland was eighth highest in 2009 and was slightly above the OECD average. Girls in Ireland performed much better than boys with an average score of 515 for females compared with 476 for males. There was no significant gender difference in the overall science measure for Ireland with an average score of 507 for males and 509 for females. Ireland was above the OECD average for scientific literacy and ranked joint seventh highest among participating EU countries.
The unemployment rate for persons in Ireland aged 18-24 with, at most, lower secondary education was 47.5% in 2010, compared with 28.2% for that age group overall. More than 87% of persons aged 20-24 in 2010 had completed second level education or higher. This figure decreased for older age groups down to just under half (49.7%) of persons aged 55-64. Women of all ages in Ireland are more likely than men to have completed at least upper secondary education. The proportion of persons aged 18-24 who left school with, at most, lower secondary education in Ireland, was 10.5% in 2010. The EU average rate was 14.1% and varied from one in twenty (4.7%) in Slovakia to over a third (36.9%) in Malta. With the exception of Bulgaria and Slovakia, the proportion of males aged 18-24 who left school early is higher than females in all EU countries (for which data is available by gender). Non-capital public expenditure on health care in Ireland as a proportion of GNI rose from 5.9% in 2000 to 11.3% in 2009. An average of €3,234 per person was spent on current public expenditure on health care in Ireland in 2009 (at constant 2010 prices) while the average in 2000 was €2,082. This represented an increase of more than half (55.3%) between 2000 and 2009. Ireland’s total expenditure on public and private health was 8.7% of GDP and 10% of GNI in 2008. The EU average was 9% of GDP while four countries had expenditures of more than 10% of GDP.
Life expectancy at birth in Ireland increased from under 58 years in 1925-1927 to 76.8 years for males and 81.6 years for females in 2005-2007. Over the same period,there was an increase of 3.8 years in the life expectancy of men aged 65 compared with an increase of 6.4 years in the life expectancy of older women. The 2006 value for life expectancy at birth for males in Ireland was 0.4 years higher than the 2008 EU average of 76.4 years, while that of females was 0.8 years lower than the 2008 EU average of 82.4 years. Life expectancy at birth in the EU in 2009 for females was highest in Spain at 84.6 years, and for males was highest in Sweden at 79.4 years. Life expectancy at birth was higher for females in all the reporting countries with the difference between life expectancy at birth for men and women lowest in Iceland at 3.6 years and highest in Lithuania at 11.1 years. The corresponding difference for Ireland was 4.8 years.
There were 13,887 dwellings completed in 1970. This figure gradually rose to28,917 in 1981 before falling to 15,654 in 1988 and then increasing sharply to peak at almost 90,000 in 2006. However the number of dwelling unit completions collapsed over the next four years to 14,602 in 2010, which is back to the levels of the early 1970s. The proportion of households in Ireland that were owner-occupied increased from 59.8% in 1961 to 80% in 1991. In the 2002 census the proportion was similar and stood at 79.8%, however it has fallen back to 77.2% in the 2006 census. The average value of a new housing loan in Ireland rose from €102,300 in 2000 to €270,200 in 2008 before falling sharply to €231,600 in 2009. The mortgage interest rate rose from 5.38% in 2000 to 5.69% in 2001 and then dropped to 3.48% in 2004. By 2008 rates had risen to 5.51% before declining to 3.46% in 2009. The number of loans taken out for housing rose from 74,258 in 2000 to a peak of 111,253 in 2006 before collapsing to 25,172 in 2009. Interest rates for new mortgages in Ireland, at 3.01%, were higher than the average
rate for the Eurozone of 2.78% at the end of 2010.
The number of kidnapping and related offences nearly doubled between 2005 and 2009, rising from 74 recorded offences in 2005 to 146 in 2009. There were also noticeable increases over the same time period in controlled drug offences, which rose from 13,322 to 21,983, and in weapons and explosives offences, which rose from 2,560 to 4,064. The number of homicide offences fell by nearly one third between 2005 and 2009,falling from 126 to 88. There was also a decrease in sexual offences over the same period, falling from 1,801 to 1,482. The largest single category of offences in 2009 was road and traffic which recorded 270,857 cases.The detection rate for burglary and related offences rose by just over a third between 2005 and 2009, while the rate for robbery, extortion and hijacking offences increased by more than a quarter. Over the same period the detection rate for kidnapping and related offences fell by almost a quarter. Certain crimes, by their nature, are detected more frequently than others, such as dangerous or negligent acts (which are mainly speeding offences) and drug offences. ncidents of driving/in charge of a vehicle while over legal alcohol limit rose gradually between 2004 and 2007, from 301 to 457 incidents per 100,000 of the population,before falling back to 311 incidents per 100,000 of the population in 2009.Incidents of burglary increased slightly from 610 to 633 incidents per 100,000 of the population between 2004 and 2005, before falling back to 537 incidents per 100,000 in 2007. In 2008 and 2009 there has been a gradual increase with the recorded incidents of burglary standing at 599 incidents per 100,000 in 2009.Incidents of controlled drug offences increased steadily over the period 2004 to 2008, rising from 244 to 529 incidents per 100,000 of the population, before falling back slightly to 497 incidents per 100,000 in 2009.There were 60 victims of murder or manslaughter in Ireland in 2009, of which 52 were male and 8 female. The total number of victims fell to 45 in 2004 and then rose over the next three years to a peak of 84 in 2007, but then dropped back sharply in 2008. The number of female victims of murder or manslaughter remained fairly stable over 2000-2006. It then peaked at 16 in 2007 and fell back to 8 in 2009.
Under the Kyoto protocol, EU countries agreed to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 8% on 1990 levels for the period 2008-2012. Ireland’s Kyoto burden-sharing target is to ensure that average levels in the 2008-2012 period are no more than 13% above the 1990 emissions. Ireland exceeded the 2008-2012 Kyoto target of 113 for greenhouse gas emissions in 2000 and reached 125.1% of the 1990 level in 2001. The situation slightly improved between 2002 and 2004, but the 2005 level increased again to 124.2% of the 1990 level before falling again to 121.7% in 2008. But then the level of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland fell sharply in 2009 to 112.1% of the 1990 level, below the Kyoto target of 113. In 2008 Ireland’s level of emissions of 121.7% was considerably higher than the EU 15 average of 93.1% of 1990 levels and was the third highest in the 25 EU states for which data was available.Ireland’s energy intensity ratio improved from 135.4 in 2000 to 104.7 in 2007 before deteriorating slightly in 2008 and 2009 to 109.4 in 2009. This ratio is calculated by dividing total usage of coal, electricity, oil, natural gas and renewable energy by GDP. Ireland had the second lowest ratio of the EU countries in 2009, while the ten countries with the highest ratios were all new member states.The number of private cars per 1,000 population aged 15 and over in Ireland rose from 445 in 2000 to 548 in 2008 before falling slightly to 540 in 2009. In 2009, the number of cars per 1,000 population aged 15 and over varied from 817 in Luxembourg to 233 in Romania. Of the 24 EU countries for which data was available in 2009, Ireland had the tenth lowest number of passenger cars per 1,000 population aged 15 and over.Road transport accounted for 96.2% of total inland freight transport in Ireland in 2000. This share has gradually increased to reach 99.4% in 2009, compared with an EU average of 77.5%. Ireland’s use of road in inland freight transport in 2009 was among the highest in the EU with only Cyprus and Malta having higher proportions of freight transported by road. Neither of these islands have a rail network.The volume of inland freight transport grew at a slower pace than constant price GDP during the period from 2000 to 2009 in Ireland, with the index of inland freight transport volume rising to a peak of 111.8 in 2004 before decreasing to 76.4 in 2009.
Causes Annette Dunlea Supports
The National Council of The Blind, Ireland