Research reveals the number of ‘healthy years’ Irish people can expect

Research reveals the number of ‘healthy years’ Irish people can expect

Ireland is among the best in the EU when it comes to the number of years people enjoy in good health, while it is top of the class for producing science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) graduates.

Those are just some of the findings from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) report into measuring Ireland’s progress against other European nations in health, education, employment, and environment.

Statistician Brian O’Mahony said: “Ireland had the highest rate of STEM graduates in the EU in 2019. The proportion of graduates in these disciplines was 36.9 per 1,000 persons aged 20-29 in Ireland, while the EU average was 20.8.”

Ireland’s third-level statistics show it is vastly outperforming most other EU states.

More than 56% of people between 25 and 34 had a third-level qualification in 2020, above the EU average of 39.6%, and the third-highest rate in the European bloc, Mr O’Mahony said.

The estimated healthy life years at birth for females in Ireland is 70.5, the third-highest in the EU, according to the latest data, while male healthy life years at birth is 68.6 years, the fourth-highest rate.

Men and women can expect at least two more decades of living today compared to 100 years ago.

“Life expectancy at birth for males in 2016 was 79.6 years in Ireland, an increase of 22.2 years since 1926,” the CSO said.

For females, life expectancy at birth in 2016 was 83.4 years, a rise of 25.5 years since 1926.

Women have outpaced men in terms of life expectancy in the past 100 years, but men are catching up in recent years, it added.

“In 1926, life expectancy for females was higher than for males by 0.5 years. This gender gap widened to 5.7 years in 1986, but narrowed to 3.8 years by 2016. 

“A 65-year-old man in 2016 could expect to live for another 18.3 years compared to 21 years for a 65-year-old woman.”

There are blots on Ireland’s book when it comes to environmental factors compared to European counterparts, the data show. 

While waste amounts in landfills have dropped by a huge 72.6% between 2009 and 2019 to just under half a million tonnes; just 27.8% of municipal waste was recycled in Ireland, below the EU average of 30.1%.

In all, 15.3% of municipal wa

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