Ireland has European Union's highest ratio of children

Thursday 07 March 2013 14.16
In 2011, 18.8% of Irish children were at risk of poverty
In 2011, 18.8% of Irish children were at risk of poverty

Ireland has the highest percentage of children in the EU at 25%, compared to the EU average of 19%, according to a report published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

The report, based on figures from various sources, also shows that children are more likely to be bullied if they come from a Traveller background or an immigrant family or suffer from a disability.

These children are also more likely to smoke cigarettes and cannabis, while immigrant children between ten and 17 are the least likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days.

The number of children waiting for medical treatment between 2009 and 2012 fell by 45%, while the number of children in the care of the HSE increased by 16%

In the years 2007 to 2011, there was a 36% decrease in the number of children born to teenage girls.

27% of 15 to 17-year-olds report having had sex.

In 2011, there were 16 suicides by children aged between ten and 17, and in the five-year period 2007 to 2011 the rate was consistently higher among boys.

18% of children live in lone-parent families. The highest number is in Dublin and the lowest in Co Leitrim.

In the past ten years there has been a positive increase in the number of children who find it easier to talk to their parents.

School attendance is stable, but despite that, reading literacy fell between 2006 and 2009. Maths also fell, below the OECD average, with science being slightly above the OECD average.

In 2011, 18.8% of children were at risk of poverty, with 9.3% in consistent poverty. Many of those lived in lone-parent families.

Keywords: children, eu
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