Ireland has lowest EU divorce rate, with more people in third-level education

Newly-released CSO figures paint a picture of Ireland's progress

CSO, Ireland's progress, crime, education, birthrate, GDP, employment, divorce rate

Image: CSO

Ireland has the lowest divorce rate in the European Union, while we are generating more waste per person than the EU average.

That is according to newly-released figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

They found that Ireland has the second highest fertility rate in the EU - at 1.96 - and just over one-third of all Irish births are outside marriage, below the EU average of 40%.

Ireland has the lowest divorce rate, at 0.6 per 1,000 population, and the highest proportion of young people in the EU.

Population and economy

We also have the second lowest proportion of old people, while the Irish population is increasing at the third highest rate.

The proportion of people aged 25-34 that have completed third-level education is the fourth highest in the EU.

Our life expectancy is also growing.

Life expectancy at birth in Ireland increased from under 58 years in 1925-27 for both men and women to 78.4 years for males and 82.8 years for females in 2010-2012.

Between 1926 and 2011, life expectancy at birth increased by 21 years for males and 24.9 years for females.

Ireland also had the third smallest increase in inflation in the EU between 2010 and 2014 - but prices remain high by EU standards.

Ireland was the fourth most expensive EU state in 2014 after Denmark, Sweden and Finland - with prices 22.3% above the EU average.

But this represents an improvement on 2008, when price levels in Ireland were 30% above the EU average and second highest in the EU.

Source: CSO

The number of sexual offences rose by 40% between 2009 and 2014, while the number of weapons and explosives offences fell by 39%.

There were also decreases in dangerous or negligent acts (offences mainly concerned with drink driving), which were down by 53%, while public order and other social code offences dropped by 43%.


The rate of employment in Ireland was the eighth lowest in the EU in 2014, while the rate of unemployment was the eighth highest.

It found that female employees were paid 14.4% an hour less than male employees in Ireland in 2012.

This gave Ireland the 11th lowest gender pay gap in the EU in 2012, when the average EU gender pay gap was 16.6%.

Housing and poverty

The number of dwelling units built was just over 11,000 in 2014 (below the number built in 1970), having peaked at almost 90,000 in 2006.

GDP here rose by 5.2% in 2014, while the rate in the EU was just 1.4%.

And the report also found that the 'at-risk of poverty' rate in Ireland was 14.1% in 2013, which was below the EU rate of 16.6%.

In 2014, 8% of the population in Ireland were in consistent poverty.

Ireland's net official development assistance was 0.38% of Gross National Income (GNI) in 2013, the ninth highest rate in the EU.

But this is still below the United Nations target of 0.7%.

See the figures broken down by category here