New reports show that educational attainment is linked to socio-economic status; More women in education up to the third cycle

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42 percent of the population has a third level education with the latest 2016 census profile showing that more women than men are now pursuing third level education.

The latest figures also show a massive increase in our education levels in 25 years – in the 1991 census, only 13.6% had gone to university.

The report shows, however, that the probability of being in school was higher among people belonging to higher socio-economic groups.

Of 2,008 20-year-olds in the upper professional family category, 94.4% were students, the highest percentage of any socio-economic group.

Children in the category of employers and managers (5,969 20-year-olds) and lower managers (3,991) also recorded high levels of participation in education, at 92.2% and 88.7% respectively.

Children of farmers and the self-employed were the only two other socio-economic groups with participation rates above 75.0%

With over 61 percent, the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area has the lowest level of education – the lowest is in Longford and Wexford at 32.5 percent.

The report also shows that only one percent of the population has a doctorate.

Other highlights include:

* Education levels have improved significantly in Ireland since 1991. Among people aged 15 and over in April 2016, 42.0% had a postgraduate qualification, up from 13.6% in 1991. The 2016 census shows us that in general, women were more educated than men, with 43.2% of women aged 15 and over having a postgraduate degree compared to 40.7% of men. The counties with the highest rates of higher education completed were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with 61.1%, Galway City with 55.2% and Dublin City and Fingal, both with 48.7%.

* The overall average age of completion of full-time studies in 2016, among the population aged 15 and over, increased to 19.9 years from 19.1 years in 2011. Monaghan was the average age of youngest completion at 18.8, followed by Cavan, Wexford and Donegal, all 18.9 years old.

* For people aged 20, the 2016 Census shows that people whose parents have higher levels of education were more likely to be still in school. In total, 60.6% of all 20-year-olds in family units were students in 2016.

* Among those whose parents had completed lower secondary education at most, 44.9% were full-time students, compared with 65.2% for those whose two parents had completed upper secondary. For 20-year-olds with both parents having a diploma, 87.5% were full-time students.

* Arts graduates had the highest unemployment rate in 2016, at 11.6% (up from 17.1% in 2011). Between 2011 and 2016, the unemployment rate fell the most for engineering, manufacturing and construction graduates, from 15.7% to 6.0%. Those with an education degree have the lowest unemployment rate in 2016, at 3.1%.

* The 28,759 people who reported having a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) represented an increase of 30.9% from 2011 and 99.5% from 2006. More men (16,016 ) than women (12,743) had a doctorate. There were 23,296 people at work among this group, while the unemployment rate was 3.4%.

* In April 2016, 1,761,420 people (aged 3 and over) said they could speak Irish, or 39.8% of the population. This is a slight decrease (-13,017 or -0.7%) from 2011. More women (968,777) than men (792,643) said they could speak Irish.

* County Galway had the highest percentages of people able to speak Irish with 49.0%, followed by Clare (45.9%), County Cork (44.9%) and Mayo (43, 9%). In contrast, the lowest percentages were found in Dublin City at 29.2%, followed by Louth and South Dublin (each 34.1%) and Cavan (34.6%).

* Of the 1,761,420 people who said they could speak Irish, almost one in four (418,420 or 23.8%) said they never speak it. Another 558,608 (31.7%) indicated that they spoke it only within the education system.

* Among the remaining group, 586,535 people (33.3%) spoke Irish less often than once a week, while 111,473 (6.3%) spoke it weekly. The number of people speaking Irish on a daily basis was 73,803, or 1.7% of the population. This is a decrease of 3,382 (4.4%) compared to 2011.

* Of those who spoke Irish daily, 14,903 (20.2%) lived in the city of Dublin and its suburbs. This is an increase of 674 people (4.7%) from 2011. Cork, Galway and Limerick together accounted for 6,034 daily Irish speakers (8.2%). Outside these towns, the largest absolute number of daily speakers lived in An Bun Beag-Doirí Beaga (771), followed by Letterkenny (525) and Swords (487).

* Daily Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht regions of County Galway and Donegal accounted for almost three-quarters of all daily Irish speakers in the Gaeltacht regions, with 9,445 (45.9%) in Galway and 5,929 (28.8%) in Donegal.

* As for Irish, almost 40 percent said they are able to speak the language, but only 4 percent spoke it on a daily basis.



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