The Central Statistics Office (CSO) compiles a wide range of statistics and indicators related to well-being, and aims to deliver these results in thematic reports and formats which promote good use of relevant statistics. The CSO appreciates that Government and policy-makers need to know how Ireland is performing in a general sense; need data to assess economic, social and environmental conditions; and require evidence to evaluate policy outcomes.
Well-being, in its broadest sense, can be viewed as a measure of how people feel about their lives as a whole and as a measure of all aspects of life. As a result, it is a complex multi-dimensional issue influenced by factors such as the state of the environment, the educational levels of the population, economic performance, public safety, and the health of the population, amongst other factors.
The most prominent report on this topic published by the CSO is The Wellbeing of the Nation 2017. This report was published in January 2018 and provides a series of indicators across eight domains. The domains were selected based on their importance to well-being and they encompass many aspects of people’s everyday life. They have also been selected to be in line with international best practice where possible, whilst also remaining relevant to Irish information needs. The table below shows the domains and corresponding indicators.
Domains and corresponding indicators featured in The Wellbeing of the Nation 2017
Average debt per household
Modified Gross National Income (GNI*)
Average total annual earnings
Consumer price index
Long-term unemployment rate
Employment rate of those with a disability
Percentage working greater than 48 hours per week
Enforced job instability
Discrimination in the workplace
Early school leavers indicator
Digital skills of those aged 16-74
Programme for international student assessment (PISA) mathematics score
Housing and natural Environment
River water quality
Recovered packaging recycling rates
Governance and Equality
Female representation in Dáil Éireann
Consistent poverty rate
Equality of income distribution
Percentage that experienced discrimination
Healthy life years at birth
Binge drinking at least once a week
Deaths by suicide
Worry about becoming a victim of personal crime or theft and damage
Perception of seriousness of crime in Ireland
Number of injuries or fatalities from road traffic accidents
Participation in sport
Average weekly household expenditure on sports and leisure
Other related work undertaken by the CSO includes the presentation, in co-operation with Ordnance Survey Ireland, of geospatial information on the EU and UN Sustainable Development Goals (see https://www.cso.ie/en/unsdgs/). Further work is under way this year on a CSO thematic report on the SDGs; and the CSO is also developing a set of energy poverty indicators.
To aid with communicating statistics and indicators on well-being, the CSO has also begun work on an interactive well-being dashboard, which will be similar to the Key Short-term Economic Indicators dashboard on the CSO website (https://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/keyeconomicindicators/). The aim of the dashboard will be to present up-to-date statistics on well-being in an easily accessible way.