The Irish have some of the longest marriages and working weeks in Europe. The annual review of life here also confirms our reputation as a nation of baby-makers and emigrants.
Measuring Ireland’s Progress uses a range of data on health, economics, society, the environment, and education to paint a picture of how the country fares against EU counterparts, and what we need to know about ourselves.
We keep out-breeding most of the continent with a birthrate second only to the traditionally more romantic French. The fertility rate of 1.96 in 2013 is back to what it was in 2003 and a falloff from 2.06, when Ireland’s baby boom appeared to peak at the height of the recession.
Even with 81,900 people leaving the country in 2014, the country still had the third fastest-growing population in Europe over the previous 10 years.
The report, compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), also examined the cost of living. This report warned we were paying the fourth highest prices for goods and services in 2014, behind only Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.
The CSO said prices in Ireland were on the whole 22.3% above the EU average.
Despite the intense recession and the cost of living, Ireland managed to maintain those at risk of poverty below the EU average. According to the report the rate was 14.1% in 2013 against 16.6% across Europe.
However, the year after the research showed 8% of the population was in consistent poverty unable to afford heat, daily meals, or new shoes or clothes.
More than one in 10 young people under 18 were suffering such deprivation in 2014.
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