Irish consumers pay the second highest prices in Europe, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The country also has the highest proportion across the EU of graduates in the so-called STEM subjects of mathematics, science and technology.
The Measuring Ireland's Progress report for 2018, published by the CSO, paints a picture of the country based on a wide range of indicators compared to the rest of the EU.
It shows that Ireland still has the highest proportion of young people in Europe and second lowest proportion of people over 65.
But that is changing and the report notes that the number of over-65s here grew by almost 40% or just over 197,000 in the past decade.
Prices paid by consumers here are 27.3% above the EU average, making us the most expensive after Denmark.
In education, Ireland has the highest proportion of young graduates in mathematics, science and technology.
But the same group also showed the widest gender disparity with almost twice as many male as female graduates in this area.
The Irish economy grew faster than the rest of the EU and even when the output of multinationals is stripped out, the productivity of the Irish workforce is almost 20% higher than the EU average.