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Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 10°C via Creative Commons
# Cost of Living
Ireland is the fifth most expensive place to live in the EU
Prices in Ireland are 18 per cent above the European Union average, despite a drop in inflation.

IRELAND IS THE fifth most expensive country in the European Union to live in – with prices still 18 per cent above the EU average, despite a fall in consumer prices over the past two years.

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that only Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden were more expensive than Ireland in 2010. However, the figures show that the situation has improved considerably since 2009, when prices were 26 per cent ahead of the Union average – second only to Denmark.

The country remained in recession in 2010, with negative growth being experienced by the economy for the third year in a row. The public balance deficit was also the highest of any EU state, at 32.4 per cent – just under a third of gross domestic product. The cost of recapitalising Anglo Irish Bank caused the deficit to balloon last year.

Meanwhile, government debt rose to just over 96 per cent of GDP – from just 25 per cent of GDP in 2007.

Ireland’s unemployment rate was the sixth highest in the EU: while overall employment experienced an increase in 2007 (65.7 per cent to 69.2 per cent) it fell to 58.9 per cent by the beginning of this year.

Male employment fell from 76 per cent to 62.2 per cent over the past three years, while female employment decreased from 60.7 per cent to 55.3 in the same period.

However, Ireland’s GDP per head is the joint-third highest in the EU, at 25 per cent above the average.

The figures also showed that the construction of dwelling units had fallen to levels last seen in 1970, falling from the peak of almost 90,000 in 2006 to just 14,600 in 2010.

Read the full report: Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2010>

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