Complete the charts below
to see if your perceptions match the data.


By Rachel Lavin 17th January, 2020




How to: Drag your cursor from the centre of each graph below, drawing the line that you think best represents the data. When you reach the end of the x-axis the real answer will appear.
Scroll down to read more about the data.

From recession to recovery, did we move from boom to bust to boom again in the 2010s? How have Ireland's wealth and debts changed? How did house prices and homelessness numbers develop? Did we do enough to prevent climate change? Are we a healthier people or a stronger democracy?
Test yourself with ten charts for ten years.



Irish people are wealthier than ever before, reaching a record high of €780.4 billion in cumulative household wealth by the end of the decade. Household net worth accounts for the assets minus the debts of each home. At the peak of the Celtic Tiger, household net worth was valued at €721 billion. This has been surpassed every quarter since the beginning of 2018. The latest figures have risen 1.6 per cent on the last quarter driven primarily by developments in house prices and the accumulation of financial assets. The average Irish household now has a net worth of €158,574.


The 2010s saw a sustained period of severe unemployment. At its peak in 2012, one in six people between 15 and 74 were considered unemployed. However, by the end of the decade, unemployment figures have returned to a pre-crisis low, staying at 4.8 per cent for the last three months of 2019. These levels were last seen in January 2007, 13 years ago.




With high levels of unemployment came a significant flow of emigration from Ireland. This peaked in 2012 when 83,000 people were estimated to have emigrated - 1.8 per cent of the population. Despite the economic recovery, the level of emigration still remains quite high. 1.12 per cent of the population are estimated to have emigrated in 2019, a total of 54,900 people.



By the end of the 2010s, Ireland's debt burden has grown to €206 billion. This is the third highest in the developed world when evaluated on a per capita basis, amounting to €42,500 for every person resident in the state.



House prices fell considerably during the 2010s. This followed a building boom where property was considerably overvalued and oversupplied, quickly leading to a crash for the construction industry in the early 2010s. However, as the economy recovered and the population grew, the construction industry was slow to recover. The decade ended with the inverse problem - a severe undersupply of housing - resulting in a return to house prices not seen since 2005.



Ireland is one of three European countries which records data on homelessness on a monthly basis. Although this data is only available from mid-decade it captures the escalation of the numbers of people experiencing homelessness. The rate of homelessness encapsulates the housing crisis that defined the late 2010s. 2019 ended with a record 10,448 people in homelessness, 3,752 of whom were children.





Despite this being the decade the Irish government realised its obligations under the Paris Agreement to reach carbon net-zero by mid-century, there has been minimal progress toward this goal. Carbon emissions (both ETS and non-ETS) had briefly decreased during the economic recession, as the scale of industry production and consumption declined. However, as the economy recovered it increased again between 2014 and 2017 and was projected to have returned to similar levels at the end of the decade (61,532 kt in 2020) as at the beginning (61,104 kt in 2010).



At the start of the decade, renewable energy accounted for 7 per cent of electricty supply. By the end of the decade, one third of electricty produced was renewable with wind accounting for 28 percent, hydro for 2 per cent, biomass for 2 per cent and landfill gas, biogas and solar energy accounting for the remainder. The government has set a target of increasing to 70 per cent renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030.



The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. Countries that tend to do best are linked to having healthier democracies with strong democratic institutions and political rights. Ireland ranks highly among western democracies. However, the country suffered a significant fall in the rankings in 2012 during the peak of the recession. While Ireland finished the decade ranked as 18th least corrupt country in the world, the score for clean governance remains lower than at the beginning of the decade.



Advancements in healthcare and living standards are expected to have increased the lifespan of Irish citizens born in the 2010s, including the ammount of years where a person is considered to be healthy. Citizens born in Ireland in 2015 are expected to have gained three years of healthy life compared to those born a decade earlier in 2005.


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