New reports shows educational attainment linked to socio-economic status; More women educated to third level

42 percent of the population has a third level education with the latest profile from Census 2016 showing more women than men are now pursuing a third level education.

The latest figures also show a massive jump in our education levels in 25 years - in the 1991 census just 13.6 percent had gone on to college.

The report shows, however, that likelihood of being in education was higher among those from the higher socio-economic groups.

Of 2,008 twenty year-olds in the higher professional family category, 94.4% were students, the highest percentage of any socio-economic group.

The children of employers and managers category (5,969 twenty year olds) and the lower professionals (3,991) also recorded high levels of education participation, at 92.2% and 88.7% respectively.

The children of farmers and own account workers were the only two other socio-economic groups with participation rates above 75.0%

At over 61 percent the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area has the lightest level of education - the lowest is in Longford and Wexford at 32.5 percent.

The report also shows that just one percent of the population has a PHD.

Other highlights include:

* Education levels have greatly improved in Ireland since 1991. Of those aged 15 and over in April 2016, 42.0% had a third-level qualification, compared with 13.6% in 1991. Census 2016 shows us that, in general, women were better educated than men, with 43.2% of females aged 15 and over having a third level qualification compared with 40.7% of males. The counties with the highest rates of completed third-level education were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with 61.1%, Galway City with 55.2% and Dublin City and Fingal, both with 48.7%.

* The overall average age of completion of full-time education in 2016, among the population aged 15 and over, has increased to 19.9 years compared with 19.1 years in 2011. Monaghan had the youngest average age of completion at 18.8 years, followed by Cavan, Wexford and Donegal, all at 18.9 years.

* Looking at persons aged 20, Census 2016 shows that those with parents with higher levels of educational attainment were more likely to still be in education. In all, 60.6% of all 20 year olds in family units were students in 2016.


* Among those whose parents were educated to at most lower secondary level, 44.9% were full-time students, increasing to 65.2% for those with both parents educated to upper secondary level. For those 20 year olds with both parents having a degree, 87.5% were full-time students.

* Those with a qualification in Arts had the highest unemployment rate in 2016, at 11.6% (down from 17.1% in 2011). Between 2011 and 2016 the unemployment rate fell the most for those with a qualification in Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, from 15.7% to 6.0%. Those with a qualification in Education had the lowest unemployment rate in 2016 at 3.1%.

* The 28,759 people who stated that they had a doctorate (Ph.D.) level qualification was an increase of 30.9% on the 2011 figure, and up 99.5% on 2006. More males (16,016) than females (12,743) had a doctorate. There were 23,296 persons at work among this group, while the unemployment rate was 3.4%.

* In April 2016, 1,761,420 persons (aged 3 and over) stated that they could speak Irish, 39.8% of the population. This was a slight decline (-13,017 or -0.7%) on 2011. More females (968,777) than males (792,643) stated that they could speak Irish.

* Galway County recorded the highest percentages of persons able to speak Irish at 49.0%, followed by Clare (45.9%), Cork County (44.9%) and Mayo (43.9%). In contrast, the lowest percentages were in Dublin City at 29.2%, followed by Louth and South Dublin (both 34.1%) and Cavan (34.6%).

* Of the 1,761,420 people who stated that they could speak Irish, almost one in four (418,420 or 23.8%) indicated that they never spoke it. A further 558,608 (31.7%) indicated that they only spoke it within the education system.

* Among the remaining group, 586,535 persons (33.3%) spoke Irish less often than weekly, while 111,473 (6.3%) spoke it weekly. The number speaking Irish daily stood at 73,803, representing 1.7% of the population. This was a decline of 3,382 (4.4%) on 2011.

* Of those who spoke Irish daily, 14,903 (20.2%) lived in Dublin City and suburbs. This was an increase of 674 people (4.7%) on 2011. Cork, Galway and Limerick together accounted for 6,034 daily Irish speakers (8.2%). Outside of these cities, the largest absolute numbers of daily speakers were living in An Bun Beag-Doirí Beaga (771), followed by Letterkenny (525) and Swords (487).

* Daily Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht areas of Galway County and Donegal made up almost three quarters of all daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht areas, with 9,445 (45.9%) in Galway and 5,929 (28.8%) in Donegal.

* When it came to Irish, almost 40 percent said they are able to speak the language, however only 4 percent spoke it daily.

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