Tracking Ireland by the numbers

Ed Forry

The Irish online publication “the” each week posts a selection of “statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.” In late December, it reported what was termed “a bumper selection of figures looking back on the year that was.” Following is a selection of those facts and figures:

$359 million (£231 million): The number of Irish punts the Central Bank says are still hanging around under mattresses or in old piggy banks, almost thirteen years after Ireland switched to the euro.

39 million: The number of views on YouTube of the video of Meath priest Fr. Ray Kelly singing his own version of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluia at a couple’s wedding.

3.4 million: The number of tourists who visited Ireland in the first six months of 2014.

1.5 million: The number of pigs in Ireland, according to the Central Statistics Office. Just in case you were wondering.

250,000: The number of households in Ireland living on less than $18,300 per year (15,000 euro), according to research.

108,000: The number of people in Ireland who are paid the minimum wage of $10.50 per hour (8.65 euro).

100,000 +: The number of people who turned out for protests against water charges around the country on Nov. 1 Tens of thousands attended a second demonstration in Dublin on Dec. 10.

79,660: The number of homes needed in Ireland to meet the needs of the growing population, according to a government advisory body.

20,000: The approximate number of people who applied for jobs in An Garda Síochána (Irish police) for just 300 positions. It was the first time since 2009 that new gardaí had been recruited.

9,615: The official number of methadone users in Ireland.

8,000: The number of Irish people treated every year for alcohol abuse.

849: The number of towns and villages that entered the Tidy Towns competition this year (Kilkenny was the overall winner).

265: The number of ambulances in Ireland.

75: The percentages of deaths in Ireland caused by heart or respiratory diseases, or cancer.

65.8: The percentage of women in the civil service, with the majority in the lower grades such as clerical or staff officer.

64: The percentage of Irish emigrants surveyed who said that the food they miss most from the old country is… Tayto crisps.

44: The percentage of people in Ireland with private health insurance.

36: The percentage of Irish people who believe religion plays a negative role in society.

34: Where Dublin ranks on a list of the happiest cities in the world, apparently.

34.9: The average age of men getting married in Ireland – the highest it has ever been. The average age for brides is 32.8.

34: The percentage of Irish people who don’t do any exercise at all. The most common reason why not? We don’t have time.

33: The percentage of judges in Ireland who are women, according to new figures. The Circuit Court comes closest to gender parity with 48 percent of the judges female.

23: The number of people who died after using cocaine in one year, according to the Health Research Board. The figure is down from a peak of 66 deaths in 2007.

10.7: Ireland’s unemployment rate.

8.7: The percentage of the population of Ireland who had a ticket to see Garth Brooks play in Croke Park. That’s 400,000 people left disappointed by the whole fiasco.