New research from the Central Statistics Office show that prices in Ireland were 35.4% above the EU average in 2019, the second highest in the European Union in 2019 after Denmark.

The CSO's "Measuring Ireland's Progress 2019" research also reveals that Ireland had the eleventh highest Gross National Income (GNI) in the EU in 2019 at €275.5 billion.

Ireland also had the tenth highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of €356.1 billion.

In 2019, Ireland had a total unemployment rate of 5.4%, which was below the EU27 average of 6.8%. This was the 12th lowest unemployment rate among the 27 countries in the European Union. 

Today's CSO figures also show that Ireland had the highest rate of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates in the EU. 

The proportion of graduates in these disciplines was 35.2 per 1,000 persons aged 20-29 in Ireland, while the EU average was 19.6. 

53.1% of people between the age of 25 and 34 in Ireland had a third level qualification in 2019, above the EU27 average of 38.5%, and the fourth highest rate in the European Union.

Meanwhile the country's NEET rate (neither in employment nor in education and training) in 2019 was 12.4%, below the EU average of 13.2%.

Today's CSO research shows that he proportion of the population aged 65 years or over has increased over the last ten years from 11.3% in 2010 to 14.5% in 2020. 

The proportion of the population aged 45-64 years also increased, from 22.4% in 2010 to 24.6% in 2020.

Conversely, the proportion of the population aged 15-24 years decreased from 13.5% in 2010 to 12.7% in 2020, while the proportion of the population aged 25-44 years also decreased from the 31.7% in 2010 to 28.1% in 2020. 

Since 2010, the proportion of the population aged 0-14 years decreased marginally, from 21.0% in 2010 to 20.2% in 2020, the CSO added.

Ireland, along with Sweden and Romania, had the second highest fertility rate in the EU at 1.8 in 2018, although all EU countries had a fertility rate below the theoretical replacement rate of 2.1. 

On an environment theme, the CSO said the quantity of waste landfilled in Ireland dropped by 78.4% between 2008 and 2018 from 1.94 to 0.42 million tonnes. 

29.4% of municipal waste was recycled in Ireland in 2018, below the EU average of 30.3%, it added.

Meanwhile, Ireland had 445 passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants in 2018, the seventh lowest rate in the EU. 

Luxembourg had the highest number of cars per 1,000 inhabitants at 676, while the lowest was Romania at 332, the CSO said.