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Foreign aid, college fees and pregnancies: the week in statistics

How much will the US’s aid cuts to Pakistan really matter? And just how many priests have been connected with abuse allegations?

Image: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie offers you a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.

4,588,252 - The population of Ireland according to the 2011 census. There’s a commonly-held rule within political science that the number of members in a parliament should be equal to the cube root of the population its represents. The cube root of 4,588,252 is… 166, the current size of the Dáil. It was reported yesterday that the Dáil would be losing eight members in the constituency review.

€109 - The amount that the average retail worker’s take-home pay has fallen in the last year. That’s according to trade union Mandate, which represents more than 45,000 retail staff – of which around one-third said they were finding it difficult to feed and clothe their families and cope with debt.

£75.68 - The price in pounds, per second, of watching Usain Bolt in the Men’s 100m final of the London Olympics, assuming that you buy the most expensive £725 tickets, and Bolt runs a time equal to his 9.58″ world record (and assuming you don’t watch any of the other events in the stadium that day). The last general tickets for the games went on sale this week.

86 per cent - The number of Irish pub-goers who said they may consider going to the pub more often if there was free WiFi available.

60 per cent - The average apartment in Dublin has lost 60 per cent of its value since its peak, according to figures this week from the CSO. As it happens, however, apartments in the capital have seen their values rise for four of the last six months.

77,630 - The number of Irish mortgages which were (at least) three months behind on their mortgage repayments at the end of March, according to Central Bank figures. That’s 10.2 per cent – up from the 9.2 per cent recorded in the previous figures from the end of December.

€978 - The amount, per month, that a gynaecologist on the Spanish island of Mallorca will have to pay to a woman whose child survived an attempted abortion attempt. The mother had sought a termination eight weeks into her pregnancy, but discovered after 20 weeks that her child had lived, and it was too late to legally attempt another abortion.

€842 - The amount An Taisce says motorists could save, on an annual basis, if Ireland used its EU presidency to propose ambitious new targets on emissions from cars. The emissions standards would force cars to become more efficient and consume less petrol.

$0.19 - The amount in foreign aid that the US Senate has stripped from Pakistan in response to the latter’s jailing of a doctor who reported the location of Osama bin Laden, when the $33m deduction is divided among each of the 174 million people living in Pakistan. That’s less than the price of the bottle of water, or a head of lettuce, in Islamabad.

One in 14 - The proportion of priests working in the Archdiocese of Dublin who have been the subject of child abuse allegations in the last 70 years, according to figures released by the diocese on Thursday. One alleged serial abuser had 97 allegations against him.

161 - The number of days spent by the Vita Cortex workers occupying their former workplace in Cork, in a marathon sit-in which ended this week when workers received the last of their promised redundancy payments. The staff had sought 0.9 weeks’ pay for every year of service, on top of their statutory right to two weeks’ pay; the exact terms of their final settlement were not disclosed.

€0 - The amount that the national union representing third-level students believes students should be asked to pay for the privilege of attending college. The Union of Students in Ireland held a national online ‘preferendum’ before reasserting that education should be fully funded by the Exchequer.

€6,000 - The amount that students may actually have to pay within a few years, according to reports during the week. The Higher Education Authority has warned that rising demand for courses means colleges will need significantly more funding in order to cope – with student contributions set to rise significantly as a result. Ruairí Quinn has since asserted, however, that the registration fee will rise to €3,000 by 2015, with no steeper hikes before then.

Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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