#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 4°C Sunday 5 December 2021

We're still the second richest in the EU

How did that happen? A new CSO report puts our relative wealth in second spot, despite the massive fall in GDP.

Image: viZZZual.com via Flickr

A NEW REPORT published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today has asserted that despite the massive falls in economic output over the last two years, Irish citizens were the second-richest in the European Union in 2009.

The revelation, contained in the ‘Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2009′ report, shows that Ireland’s relative wealth remained well above average, as the relatively small population of the country meant that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was higher than in every other EU state but for Luxembourg.

Ireland was one of only three EU states to see deflation over the course of the year – the others being Spain and Portugal – but “Irish prices remain high by EU standards”, it said.

Elsewhere in the report, the CSO reveals that the productivity of the Irish workforce was also well above the European average – though Irish employees did work, on average, 4% longer hours than the rest of the continent.

It also reveals, however, that the budget deficit for 2009 fell to 14.3% of GDP, the second year in succession that it had exceeded the European Union’s limit of 3%, having recorded a deficit of 7.3% in 2008.

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by 21.3% between 1990 and 2008, an amount that leaves it 8.3% higher than its Kyoto targets.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The number of students in third-level education increased in 2009, while the population of the country reached 4.46 million – a jump of 17% over the course of the Naughties, an EU record. Ireland also has the lowest divorce rate of all 27 member states.

The average life expectancy is now 81.6 for women and 76.8 for men, though this may or may not be related to the divorce rate. Despite the long lives of Irish citizens, Ireland has the highest proportion of young people and the lowest of old people of any EU member.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next: