Unemployment is down; prices are up; and Ireland’s favourite baby names are still Emily and Jack, according to a snapshot of Irish life published yesterday.
And according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), certain prices have sky-rocketed in the last nine years. The cost of education is up by 60%; energy products are up by 44%; and healthcare costs 32% more now than it did in 2004.
The cost of some items has come down — clothing prices have dropped by 33%; and the cost of household equipment and maintenance is down by 20%.
The figures reveal how Irish diets have diversified since 1853, when 918,000 hectares of land were used to grow oats and potatoes.
In recent times, as people have turned to rice and pasta, and increased their consumption of meat and vegetables, there has been a massive decline in the growing of oats and potatoes which currently cover 39,000 hectares of land — a drop of 95%.
The statistical yearbook also revealed that social media’s popularity in people’s private lives has transferred into the business sphere as 46% of enterprises now use social media to connect with customers.
It showed that despite tough times, we made 6.6 million trips abroad — 85% of these were to other EU countries.
The vast majority of these trips were for holidays and to visit family. More than half of internet purchases were associated with travel or holidays.
While there was bad news for the motor industry in 2013, with the purchase of new cars down by 6.4% compared to 2012, this trend reversed in 2014, with 90,000 new cars already sold this year.
In 2012, more than a quarter of the population (27%) were considered to be experiencing deprivation.
The average disposable (net) income was €399.69, down from €410.88 in 2011.
The government deficit was 5.7% of GDP and while this is still high, it is a significant improvement from the 2012 figure which was 8%. Government revenue increased from €3,734m between 2009 and 2013 and this was mainly due to increased tax and social contribution revenues.
The CSO figures also show that the total number of people in employment at the end of 2013 was 1,869,700 — an increase of 3,370 from end of 2012. The unemployment rate had decreased to 13.9% by December 2013 and this has now dropped further to 11.3%.
The construction industry demonstrated definite signs of recovery in 2013, with total building and construction output up by 11% there was also an increase in the number of planning applications approved.
Crime statistics in 2013
- Dublin Metropolitan Region Western and Cavan/Monaghan Garda Divisions had the highest number of homicides, at nine each. There were 83 murders in total;
- 14,452 assaults (including threats to murder and attempted murder) while the detection rate for assault was 65.2%;
- 2,021 sex offences recorded in 2013, a slight decrease from 2012;
- 26,153 burglaries;
- 2,749 weapons and explosives offences;
- 2,805 robbery, extortion or hijacking offences;
- 15,394 controlled drugs offences.
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