Ireland has the third highest prices in the EU

The CSO has been measuring our progress in a number of areas...

Ireland has the third highest prices in the EU

A waiter gives back change in a cafe in Podgorica, Montenegro | Image: Darko Vojinovic / AP/Press Association Images

Consumer prices in Ireland are the third highest in the European Union, as the country's trails only Denmark and the UK in the expense stakes.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that prices were 22.5% above the trading bloc's average in 2015.

This is despite Ireland having the EU's fifth smallest rise in inflation between 2011 and 2015, the Irish Independent reports.

The relative expense of Ireland has improved in recent years since 2008 – Irish prices were 30% above the EU average that year, when the country had the second highest prices in the EU.

After falling prices in 2009 and 2010, between 2011 and 2014 consumer prices in Ireland increased but the rate of change was lower than in the EU and in the Eurozone.

The report, entitled Measuring Ireland's Progress 2015, encompassed a wide range of comparative stats.

Key findings include:

  • Ireland has the third highest proportion of the population aged 25-34 that has completed third-level education in the EU
  • The country boasts the second highest fertility rate in the EU at 1.94, well above the EU average of 1.58
  • Ireland's divorce rate is the lowest in the EU at 0.6 per 1,000 population
  • We had the 11th lowest rate of employment in the EU in 2015 while the rate of unemployment was the 10th highest.
  • Some 85% of Irish households had internet in 2015, compared to 83% in the EU.
  • Unemployment for Irish men was 11.1%, compared to 9.3% for EU men, while unemployment for Irish women was 8.2%, compared to 9.5% on average in the EU.