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Statistical Information on Poverty and Social Exclusion in Ireland

Poverty Statistics - EU-SILC

The official statistics on poverty in Ireland are compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) from the annual Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). The most recent figures were published in November 2010 and are for the year 2009.

EU-SILC figures for 2009 (PDF document): Open in PDF format

Information on the survey and its methodology are available on the EU-SILC page on the CSO's website.

EU-SILC replaces the Living in Ireland Survey, conducted by the ESRI, which was the source of data on poverty from 1994 to 2001.

Comparative poverty figures across the EU 27 may be found in Eurostat's Statistical Portrait of the European Union 2010. This data is for 2008 and is available as a PDF on the Eurostat website. As 2010 is European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the current volume has a particular focus on poverty statistics.


Other Irish Sources of Statistical Information:


Quarterly National Household Survey

The Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) is conducted by the CSO. It is the official measure of employment and unemployment in Ireland. In addition to employment data, each quarter data is also collected on a selected topic such as the use of IT, crime, housing or disability. This data is published a special module of the QNHS. More information on the QNHS and links to publications are available on the QNHS page on the CSO's website.

Household Budget Survey

The Household Budget Survey (HBS) is conducted by the CSO. It details patterns of household spending on consumer goods and services. The most recent survey is for 2004-2005: results were published in July 2007.

Household Budget Survey 2004-2005 (PDF document): Open in PDF format

Census of Population

The Census of Population is conducted every 5 years. The last census took place in April 2006 and data is now being published. Information from the 2006 Census, along with the reports from the 2002 Census, is available on the CSO's Census page.

Measuring Ireland's Progress

Each year the CSO compiles Measuring Ireland's Progress, which sets key economic, social and environmental progress indicators in comparative European perspective. The most recent edition was published in Sept 2010 and is for the year 2009.

Measuring Ireland's Progress 2009 (PDF document): Open in PDF format

Social Welfare Statistics

The Department of Social Protection publishes an annual statistical report which details numbers in receipt of each payment and expenditure on social welfare services. Reports from 1998 to date are available on the DSP website.

Housing Statistics

The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government publishes quarterly housing statistics bulletins and an annual bulletin which contain data on the housing market, local authority housing lists, traveller accommodation and the private rental sector. Both quarterly and annual housing statistics bulletins may be downloaded from the Department's website.



International Sources - Ireland in Comparative Perspective

A number of international organisations such as the EU, UN and OECD collate key data from member countries to produce comparative statistical reports that may be used to benchmark Ireland against other countries. Note that differences in data collection practices may mean that the data used is not necessarily the most up-to-date, so it is important to check whether there is more recent Irish data available.



Eurostat is the official statistical office of the European Union. Among its regular publications the thematic Statistics in Focus bulletin, the annual Social Situation in the European Union and sectoral publications such as Key Data on Education in Europe. The Eurostat website has extensive links to EU-wide statistical publications across a range of sectors.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

The Foundation is an EU body that conducts a number of surveys on employment and social conditions in EU countries. Among its regular surveys are the European Quality of Life Survey, the European Working Conditions Survey and the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. More information and results from these surveys can be found on the European Foundation's website.



The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes a number of reports annually that compare Ireland's performance indicators with those of other OECD countries. The OECD's sectoral reports include Education at a Glance, Health at a Glance, Society at a Glance and Pensions at a Glance.

More information on these reports and on other OECD publications can be found on the OECD website.


Unicef Innocenti Research Centre

The Innocenti Research Centre publishes comparative international data on child poverty and children's rights. Among its publications are Child Poverty in Rich Countries and A League Table of Educational Disadvantage in Rich Nations. More information on the Centre and its publications is available on the IRC website.



The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) publishes the annual Human Development Report which measures the development of UN member countries according to the Human Development Index, a composite index of quality of life and standard of living indicators. The Report is published annually in September. The current report and reports for previous years, together with information on the methodology and indicators used, are available on the UNDP website.


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