By Vexen Crabtree 2013
|Social and Moral Index||17th best|
|Land Area||68 890 km21|
|Population||4.579 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||81.05yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$43 798 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||IE, IRL, 3725|
“Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1949, Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is gradually being implemented despite some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
Lower is better10
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (2015)11|
Higher is better11
|Fertility Rate (2013)12|
Lower is better12
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.01|
|120||Central African Rep.||4.576m||7|
|Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)13|
Lower is better13
Ireland's population is predicted to rise to 5.356 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.10. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|Gender Inequality (2015)14|
Lower is better14
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
Ireland is notable for its equality between the sexes.
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below15:
It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 93.8% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 54% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".
For more on this phenomenon, see:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2% (2006 census)16.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Ireland states:
“The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. However, antiblasphemy laws and state sponsorship of religion exist. Section 36 of Ireland's Defamation Act of 2009 criminalizes the publishing or utterance of "blasphemous matter" and imposes a maximum fine of €25,000. That is "matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion..." Protection exists if "a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates." There is still a requirement for holders of public office - including judges and the state president--to take a religious oath.
Cases of Discrimination
In 2000, a new religious education course was introduced that was supposed to be suitable for all religions and those without religion. However, parents who do not wish to have their children attend religious classes in school are routinely asked to supervise them personally during school hours because schools will not do so. Furthermore, some schools are reportedly forcing the children of non-religious parents to take a religious education course introduced a decade ago.
In 2003 the Equality Authority declared that publicly-funded church-linked schools are legally permitted to refuse to admit a student who is not of that religious group if the school can prove that the refusal is essential to the maintenance of the "ethos" of the school.
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)17
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users (2016)18|
Higher is better18
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)14|
Lower is better14
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)19|
Lower is better19
|Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)20|
Higher is better20
Lower is better21
(World Position, 2013-2016)22
Lower is better22
|10||Trinidad & Tobago||10|
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)23|
Lower is better23
|Global Peace Index (2012)24|
Lower is better24
|Research and Development|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
Higher is better
|Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)26|
Higher is better26
|Press Freedom (2013)27|
Lower is better27
|Life Satisfaction (2011)28|
Higher is better28
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)11|
Higher is better11
|Environmental Performance (2010)29|
Higher is better29
|LGBT Equality (2013)30|
Higher is better30
Ireland has seen a long line of child abuse scandals from within the Catholic Church, but, the particular twist taken in this country is the leaking of government documents by Edward Snowden, revealing the political battle that Catholic Church has been involved in with its attempts to stall and prevent investigations from taking place, including a long history of its staff hiding paedophiles, moving them around, and no matter what, not reporting them to the police. The Murphy Commission and the Cloyne Report finally revealed most of these antics to the public in the early 2010s. This has occurred at the local level, and, worse of all, centrally from within the Vatican. Any "moral" ground the church once had has evaporated, and it is clear to all that its sole concern is its own power and influence. Between 1991 and 2011, the number of non-religious, atheist and agnostic folk quadrupled, and the percent of Catholics in the population dropped to its lowest figure ever, although this is still a pretty high number at 84% of the population32.
"In Ireland, an inquiry found that, over six decades, child abuse had been endemic at many Catholic institutions for boys. The head of the Irish Catholic church said he was profoundly sorry".
"In January, the Catholic Church in Ireland agreed to a $110m payment to children abused by the clergy over decades. More than 20 priests, brothers and nuns have been convicted of molesting children".
52 schools, run by Catholic religious orders, that took in children that were either very troublesome, or the offspring of parents who were too poor to look after them, have all been closed in Ireland. The Irish government launched an inquiry into abuse at these 'industrial' schools. The Christian Brothers, who ran some of these schools, "have also been implicated in sex scandals in Canada. More than 300 former pupils at Mount Cashel orphanage, Newfoundland, have alleged the lay brothers abused them".
"In Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady, the primate, has admitted that he was present in 1975 when two [boys aged 10 and 14] were persuaded to sign oaths of silence about their abuse by Father Brendan Smyth. The church defrocked Smyth, but nobody, including Cardinal Brady, told the police about his crimes and he remained free to abuse boys for two decades".
The Murphy Commission reported on 320 cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy between 1975 and 2004 in the Dublin archdiocese alone. Once all of this was revealed, the Vatican used its historical political ties with the Irish government to attempt to stop the investigations and delay them. The "Vatican refused to co-operate and only let officials visit Ireland once they'd been given immunity from having to testify". A leaked cable "reveals the behind-the-scenes diplomacy in which politicians in the Irish government attempted to persuade an imperious Vatican to engage with the investigation. [...] Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says". In other words: "disrespect" meant "not helping us cover it up" and "trying to force us to give evidence on something on something we're trying to hide". The Vatican said that requests for co-operation were straining relations itself and between Irish government. Yet, they had both moral and political reason to co-operate to help end child abuse. What override both moral and political concerns was the Catholic drive to protect their religion: That was the true problem that was straining relations!
The Cloyne Report (on Catholic child abuse in Ireland, and its cover-up by the Catholic Church) had its final chapter published in 2011.
“Once more a catalogue of cover-ups and lies is revealed at the very highest echelons of the Church. Its publication has prompted Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter to reassert that stricter laws are needed to protect children. [... The publication] yet again details the failure of the Church to comply with its own child abuse guidelines and its failure to ensure that allegations of abuse when first received were brought to the notice of [the police]," said Mr Shatter. "The litany of allegations made and the failure to appropriately report cases of abuse reinforces the need to enact a statutory measure for the protection of children in the future". The newly-published chapter tells how former Bishop John Magee did not adequately deal with complaints in his Co Cork diocese against a cleric with the pseudonym of Fr Ronat. The earlier report had shown that Bishop Magee deliberately misled authorities and was failing to report abuse until as recently as three years ago.”
Current edition: 2013 May 01
Last Modified: 2015 Mar 08
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..
Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 May 24.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Analysis conducted by the UN Development Report Office. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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