How does Ireland measure up compared to previous years?
The CSO figures from 2013, which have been released today, are aimed at measuring the progress that Ireland has made in recent years, and compare figures across the last decade to "provide an overall view of the social, economic, environment, education and health situation in Ireland". They've given it the rather catchy name of Measuring Ireland’s Progress (hey, it does what it says on the tine) and according to the stats, things are going relatively well here at the moment.
In a short infographic produced for the the introduction to the complete report over at the CSO website, the figures are compared to Europe in general, and across the board it seems that 2013 (yeah, it takes them a year to get through all the statistics) was a good year for Ireland, except when it came to the amount of waste we generated.
Apart from that, the report also showed that we were the fifth most expensive state in the EU, with prices 20% the average across the continent, which probably saw a lot more people staying in instead of spending their money on nights out. What were they doing on those nights in, we hear you ask? Well, allow us to explain with the following quote: "Ireland has the highest fertility rate in the EU, at 2.01, and the lowest divorce rate, at 0.6 per 1,000 population". We're getting on well, so.
Other highlights from the report include the fact that Ireland was third highest in the EU when it came to the proportion of the population aged 25-34 that had completed third-level education, while we also had the smallest increase in inflation in the EU between 2009 and 2013. On the other side of things, it appears that crime saw an increase here, in particular crimes against people rather than property: "kidnapping and related offences increased by 57% between 2008 and 2013 in Ireland while the number of sexual offences rose by 43% over the same time period. However there were decreases in public order and other social code offences, (down by 41%), and in controlled drug offences", which were down by a third.
Apart from that, the picture is a positive one, and you can read the full, detailed report on the CSO site, if lots and lots of figures are your type of thing. Of course, we all know these statistics are flawed, as they don't take into account houses with more than two television sets, and other things of that nature.