88% consider themselves to be in 'very good' or in 'good' health


HEALTH:MORE THAN 60 per cent of the population consider themselves to be in very good health, according to the findings of the 2011 census.

The occurrence of health failing with age is reflected with just one in three people aged 65 and over saying they were in very good health, compared to 87 per cent of those aged between 10 and 14.

More than four million respondents (88 per cent) said their health was either very good (2.77 million) or good (1.28 million), with just 69,661 (1.5 per cent) reporting that they were in a bad (57,243) or very bad (12,418) condition.

Six of the seven counties where the best health was reported were in greater Dublin (excluding the city), with Cork the only county outside Leinster in the top seven.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown residents rated themselves the healthiest in Ireland, while those in Limerick city reported the worst health.

In demographic terms, 76 per cent of social class one (professional workers) believed their health to be very good but this fell to just 45 per cent in class six (unskilled workers).

The proportion of the population with a disability increased from 9.3 per cent (393,785) in 2006 to 13 per cent (595,335) in 2011, up 201,550. The spike can be attributed to changes to the census disability question, which now includes ailments such as asthma and chronic pain, according to the CSO.

The number of people aged over 15 who classified themselves as carers rose by 13 per cent to 182,884. The number of male carers increased by 20 per cent to 72,999, but women carers continued to outnumber men at 114,113.