CSO figures reveal Irish women are better educated than men

Latest census figures reveal that women in Ireland are better educated than men, as 43.2 percent of women aged 15 and over received third-level education in 2016 compared with 40.7 percent of men.

Census figures released last month by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that 42 percent (1,216,945) of the population aged 15 and over had a third level qualification, compared with just 13.6 percent in 1991.

“This report shows a continuing decline in the numbers of early school leavers and increases in the numbers with third level qualifications,” said Deirdre Cullen, senior statistician with the Central Statistics Office.

Hajar Infographic Education.png
More women in Ireland hold third level degrees than men. Source Hajar Akl

Broken down to age groups, out of those aged between 15 and 39, 56.2 percent of them had a third-level qualification, compared to 18.9 percent of those aged 65 and over.

The counties with the highest rates of completed third-level education were Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with 61.1 percent, Galway City with 55.2 percent and Dublin City and Fingal, both with 48.7 percent. The counties with the lowest rates were Longford and Wexford, at 32.5 percent.

The figures also show that for people aged twenty, those with parents with higher levels of education were more likely to still be in education. In all, 60.6 percent of all 20-year olds in family units were students in 2016.

And among those whose parents were educated to a maximum of lower secondary level, 44.9 percent were full-time students, increasing to 65.2 percent for those with both parents educated to upper secondary level. For those 20-year olds with both parents having a degree, 87.5 percent were full-time students.

The figures also showed that those with a qualification in Arts had the highest unemployment rate in 2016, at 11.6 percent (down from 17.1 percent in 2011).

Between 2011 and 2016 the unemployment rate fell the most for those with a qualification in Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, from 15.7 percent to 6 percent. Those with a qualification in Education had the lowest unemployment rate in 2016 at 3.1 percent.

Although more women had third-level education, more men (16,016) had a doctorate (Ph.D.) than women (12,743). The 28,759 people who stated that they had a doctorate level qualification was an increase of 30.9 percent on the 2011 figure, and up 99.5 percent on 2006. There were 23,296 persons at work among this group, while the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent.

By Hajar Akl

Unemployment rate falls to post-recession low

Unemployment in Ireland is at its lowest since before the economic crash of 2008, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The latest figures from the CSO show that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October fell to 6 percent, down from 6.1 percent in September.

The unemployment rate has continuously decreased in the last year, with a 1.2 percent decrease between October 2016 and October 2017.

The figures released show that 131,300 people in Ireland were unemployed in October 2017, compared to the 158,100 people who were unemployed in Ireland during the same month last year.

Although the unemployment rate is higher in males than females, both rates decreased in the last year. In October 2017, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent for males, down from 6.8 percent in September 2017 and down from 8.1 percent in October 2016.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for females in October 2017 was 5.1 percent, which remained unchanged from September 2017 and was down from 6.1 percent in October 2016.

The unemployment rate for young people aged 15 to 24 years is still higher than the unemployment rate for people aged 25-74 at 14 percent in October 2017 down from 14.7 percent in September 2017. However, unemployment in young people decreased by 2.7 percent between October 2016 and October 2017.  The unemployment rate in people aged from 25 to 74 has remained unchanged since June 2017 at 5.2 percent.

The Department of Finance has predicted that the unemployment rate in Ireland will fall below 6 percent by the end of the year.

Unemployment expected to dip below 6% before the year’s end.

Fiona McCudden from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation directed thecity.ie to the government’s ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ initiative as one explanation for the encouraging employment figures.

The most recent plan released by the government in February of this year details 164 actions and 430 measures to be implemented throughout the year 2017 by 16 Government departments and 43 agencies under the department’s remit.

The plans aim to support job-creating businesses and remove barriers to employment. It also attempts to prepare businesses for unexpected disruption to the employment sector, such as Brexit, by providing advice on minimising risk regarding exports, investment and expansion etc.

Since the first ‘Action Plan for Jobs’ was released in 2012, the unemployment rate has fallen by nine percent, but positive economic growth across all sectors of the economy is undoubtedly a contributing factor to these promising figures.

By Cara Croke and Chris Kelly

CSO figures reveal increasing Muslim population

With the CSO revealing that the Muslim population is growing year on year, Hajar Akl looks at how multiple generations of Muslim people are integrating into Irish culture and making Ireland their home.

The Muslim population is the youngest religious group in Ireland, new Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures have revealed.

The figures, released by the CSO last week, show that the Muslim population has also increased by 28.9 percent since 2011, bringing the total number of Muslim people in Ireland to 63,443 people.

Sheikh Yahya Alhussein, Imam of Dublin Mosque on South Circular Road, said the fact that Muslims are the youngest religious group in Ireland is “an indication that Muslims are going to be here for a long time”.

A young Muslim child celebrating Eid. Credit: Hajar Akl

Sheikh Alhussein has been in Ireland since 1983. He said the presence of Muslims in different workplaces is much more evident today than it was back then.

“If you go to the city centre, or other places, you’ll find Muslims everywhere,” he said.

He said the country has changed since he has come here and has become more inclusive by providing a range of services to the “growing community, like halal restaurants and shops and, of course, mosques in different areas of Dublin and around the country.”

Sheikh Alhussein said there was only one mosque in Dublin until 1996. “There are now over 50 places for prayer around the country today.”

Mudafar Al Tawash has been the administrator of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland for the last ten years. He has been living in Ireland for the past 40 years and has noticed things change significantly when it comes to the Muslim population.

He said when they first came to Ireland, they set up the Muslim National School. Students of the school have since graduated and now their children are attending the school.

“We are starting to see the second generation,” Mr Al Tawash said.

“We are very pleased to see them because the second generation live as Irish and grew up in the Irish society and will play an important role in society. They will, inshaAllah [God willing], try to get rid of the stigma surrounding Islam,” he said.

Mr Al Tawash said: “The numbers are great. It’s great to see the young people are in good number because they will play a good role in the Irish society and will serve the country in a proper way.

“I think the future is very bright for Muslims here in Ireland because we have these younger people.”

Mr Al Tawash said the increase in the number of Muslims has helped Irish people to know more about Islam than ever before.

“People are spreading around Dublin and Ireland and are integrated very well and we are very lucky here in Ireland, unlike communities in different parts of Europe,” he said.

“I see a lot of Muslim women here in law, in the media, medicine, science, engineering and other fields,” he said.

He said he has high expectation for the new generation of Muslims growing up in Ireland.

“We are trying to encourage the youth, Islamic societies in colleges, and we’re trying to invest in younger generations,” he said.

Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, said the Muslim population in Ireland is relatively new.

Having a younger age group “is good because this means they will be better integrated into Irish society than older generations,” he said.

“Ireland has a promising future when it comes to multi-faith and cultural tolerance and integration,” he said. “The world is not as isolated as it used to be. It’s not even like a village, it’s even smaller. What happens anywhere reaches the other end of the world. So the presence of different cultures in this country is like gathering the whole world in one place.”

Sheikh Halawa has been in Ireland for 21 years. Today, he sees a “huge difference” to how things were in the past.

Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, with Cormac Devlin, former Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and President Michael D. Higgins. Credit: Hajar Akl

“Ireland has gotten to know a new culture and religion. When the population was small, there wasn’t that much awareness, but now there is,” he said.

“A lot of Muslims in Ireland are very educated. This indicates the intellect of this group of people,” he said.

“My hope is that this open communication between cultures [will] become the norm in the whole world. There are those who scare people of Islam and call for conflict. Those are the enemies of humanity. Islam is a religion of peace. My hope is for the world to understand that,” he said.

Hiba Aburwein, secretary of the Muslim Association of Ireland also reiterated the thought that Muslims in Ireland are very educated.

“The [Muslim] generations that are here really encourage their children to better their education. Most, if not all of them, are moderate Muslims who are helping to better the Irish economy and helping in improving the Irish community,” said Ms Aburwein.

She said it’s “very encouraging” to see the numbers about the young Muslim demographic because “young ages are the ones that build society”.

On the increasing numbers of Muslims in Ireland, she said: “We shouldn’t ignore that they are a growing community and part of society. If there are any policies that seek to alienate them, it will have a negative reaction. Muslims need to feel part of the Irish society.

“We should try to push the wheel towards treating Muslims as part of society, not treating them as strangers. All organisations should work towards this,” she said.

She said a large portion of Irish Muslims were born in Ireland.

“We hope that Irish people will accept them as Irish citizens because we feel that Ireland is our home. Muslim doesn’t mean immigrant. There are a lot of Irish Muslims and different generations. Society needs to accept that this is our home,” Ms Aburwein concluded.