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Health in Ireland: Key Trends 2015


Department of Health

Subject Keywords: Demographics, Population health, Hospital, Primary care, Health service, Employment, Expenditure
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland

Health in Ireland Key Trends gives us insights into trends in demographics, population health, hospital and primary care and health service employment and expenditure.

The presentation of trend data over the last decade in the 2015 report highlights the many significant achievements that Ireland has made in terms of key outcomes relating to the health and wellbeing of the population. However, it also highlights the challenges that persist in terms of the accessibility of timely healthcare and in the context of financial constraints.

In the last decade alone, there has been an increase of two and a half years in life expectancy. These gains are driven largely by reductions in mortality rates from principal causes of deaths such as those from heart disease and cancer.

Another striking feature is the growth in the number of people aged over 65. Each year this cohort increases by 20,000 people. This trend is set to continue into the future and will have implications for future planning and health service delivery. Ireland will see the largest proportional increases in the population aged 85 years and older.

Ageing of the population in conjunction with lifestyle-related health threats continue to present major challenges now and into the future in sustaining and further improving health and health services in Ireland. Although difficult to quantify, the contribution of modern health services to these improvements in health outcomes and in life expectancy have been significant.

Ireland’s fertility rates are still among the highest in Europe but the birth rate has fallen to its lowest rate for the last decade.  However, Ireland currently has the highest proportion of children and young people in our population among EU countries.




Rights: © Government of Ireland
Suggested citation:

Department of Health . (2015) Health in Ireland: Key Trends 2015 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th March 2018].


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Department of Health (Ireland)
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