Big increase in dependence on imported fuels
Ireland depends on imported gas, oil and coal to meet 90 per cent of its energy needs, compared to just 69 per cent in 1990 – even though 18 per cent of our electricity is now generated from renewable sources, according to the Central Statistics Office.
In a new report, the CSO notes that Ireland’s per capita emissions of greenhouse gases have been falling since 2001, and stood at 12.5 tonnes in 2011 – with agriculture accounting for 32 per cent of the annual total of 57.5 million tonnes. The report, Sustainable Development Indicators Ireland 2013, also shows that transport’s share of emissions increased from 9 per cent in 1990 to 20 per cent in 2011 – as the proportion of people commuting to work by car or motorcycle rose to 66 per cent.
The number of private cars was 283 per 1,000 of the population aged 15 years and over in 1985, and this grew every year until 2007, when it had reached 539 cars per 1,000. The rate has fallen since, and stood at 523 cars per 1,000 in 2011.
The proportion of children aged 5-12 being driven to school increased from 26 per cent in 1986 to 61 per cent in 2011. Among those aged 13-18, it rose from 11 per cent to 40 per cent over the same period.
Ireland had the second highest average class size in primary schools in Europe in 2010, with 24.1 students per class. By contrast, the average of 20.3 students per class in secondary school, that was seventh lowest among EU countries.
Income tax as a proportion of exchequer revenue fell from 34 per cent in 2000 to 27 per cent in 2006, but then rose to 41 per cent in 2011 while corporation tax increased from 10 per cent in 1995 to 16 per cent in 2002, falling back to 10 per cent in 2011.
In 2010, individuals earning under €20,000 accounted for 10 per cent of total taxable income and paid 0.3 per cent of total income tax, while those earning over €100,000 accounted for 23 per cent of total taxable income and paid 46 per cent of total income tax.
The proportion aged 20 to 34 in employment ranged from 75 to 78 per cent between 2000 and 2008, but has since fallen to 64 per cent, while the proportion of 60 to 64-year-olds at work rose to 46 per cent in 2008 only to fall to 40 per cent in 2012.
The old age dependency ratio – the ratio of the population above retirement age (over 65 years) to the population of working age (15 to 64) – was put at 17 per cent in 2011. This is expected to double over the coming years, to 36 per cent by 2041.
The level of emigration fell to a low of 25,300 people in 1997 – down from 70,000 in 1989 – but rose again to 87,000 in 2012, mostly in the 15-44 age group.
Snapshot Irish life
Ireland had the 12th lowest per capita consumption of alcohol of the EU member states in 2008, at 12.2 litres of “pure alcohol”.
Tobacco consumption in 2009 was the seventh lowest in the EU for males, at 31 per cent, and ninth highest for females (27 per cent).
26 per cent of Irish males were rated as obese in 2008 – joint second highest in the EU. Females were joint sixth, at 23 per cent.
The proportion of total income tax paid by those earning over €100,000 rose from 30 per cent in 2002 to 46 per cent in 2010.
92 per cent of all new vehicles registered in the State in 2012 fell into the A or B low emissions category, up from 12 per cent in 2005.