The visualisation below represents a summary of unemployment rates across the EU27 by month since January 2007 until November 2012. Each country within the EU27 may be selected, compared and contrasted to assess how the economic crisis impacted each state in terms of unemployment. The rate presented here is the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate which represents the percentage of the labour force classified as unemployed. The report, raw data along with metadata is available from Eurostat.

By visualising this data across a time line we can identify the numerous unemployment spikes that occurred due to the various economic events across the EU27. Stand out trends for example are the rise in Irish unemployment between 2007 (4%) to 2010 (14.8%) and its subsequent plateau or the dramatic rise in unemployment in Greece (26.6%) and Spain (26.8%) laterally.

In terms of raw numbers Eurostat reports that the November 2012 unemployment rate of 10.9% equates to 26.06 million people unemployed across the EU27.

By using the select filter located on the left side of the visualisation, countries may be selected for comparison and then for a more detailed analysis at the base of the viz a single country may be selected. In each case by hovering over any part of the viz a detailed value will be shown in a pop up window.   The data and images of this visualisation may be extracted using the tools located at the bottom of the page.

See the Viz on the AIRO site here:

Eoghan McCarthy



The AIRO team have produced an interactive data visualization of the initial results of the Northern Ireland census 2011.  The data visualization shows the results at district and province level for religion, economic status, national identity, country of birth, and age groups.

With respect to religion the headline statistics was that the percentage of the population who self-declared themselves Catholic has risen to 45.1%, just three percent less than self-declared Protestants (48.4%).  5.6% declared no religion and 0.9% other.  However, it one looks at the data at district level it is clear that very few districts have such a near 50/50 ratio of Catholics/Protestants.  Rather, most districts have a clear religious majority.

NI census

The economic status shows that 467,805 people are in employment, but also that 10,957 people who are unemployed have never worked and 29,324 are classed as long term unemployed.  Worryingly, of those unemployed over 40 percent in all districts are long term unemployed, illustrating the difficulties of re-entering the labour force after job loss in the present recession.

38.9% of the population of Northern Ireland declare themselves to be British, 25.3% Irish, 20.9% as Northern Irish, 6.1% as both British and Irish, and 5% as other.  Clearly the declaration of British maps somewhat imperfectly onto Protestant and the relationship between religion and nationality is by no means synonymous.

More than ten percent of the population were not born in Northern Ireland. 3.6% were born in England, 2.1% in the Republic of Ireland, 2% in EU Accession countries, 2% other, 0.85% Scotland, 0.54% elsewhere in Europe, 0.14% in Wales.

The population is quite youthful with 20.9% of people aged 0-15 and 12.6% aged 16-24.  27.5% are aged 25-44 and 24.4% aged 45-64.  14.6% of the population is at retirement age or older (65+) (the EU average is 16%).

Rob Kitchin and Eoghan McCarthy

I’ve put together a set of data visualisations that collectively tell the story of the crisis in Ireland.  The slideshow below (click the 4 arrow symbol to enlarge) or the PDF accessed through this link provides graphs, maps and tables with respect to the following data drawn from a variety of sources including the CSO, Central Bank, NTMA, ESRI, DECLG, EU:

GDP constant prices 2006-11

GNP constant prices 2006-11

Government expenditure 2006-11

Gross government debt 2006-11

General government debt 2000-2011

General government balance 2000-2011

Government revenue and spending 2002-12

Breakdown of government revenue and spending 2012

Budget adjustments 2008-2015

Troika bailout

Actual and contingent government debt 2011

Cost of the bank bailout per capita

Investment as a %GDP 1970-2010

Personal consumption expenditure 2006-11

Consumer price index 2007-12

Export of goods 2007-12

Import of goods 2007-12

Retail sales index 2007-12

New private cars licensed 2007-12

Numbers in employment 2007-11

Numbers on the Live Register 2007-12

Unemployment rate 2007-12

Average weekly earnings 2008-12

Household net worth 2004-12

Household debt 2004-12

Mortgage arrears 2009-12

Residential property prices 2007-12

Housing completions 1993-2011

Housing completions in Upper Shannon Rural Renewal Scheme 1970-2011

Mortgage volumes 2005-2012

Housing vacancy per ED 2011

Unfinished estates 2011

Tax revenue from property 2002-2011

Distribution of larger debtors in NAMA

I’d be grateful to know about other useful data visualisations – please provide a link the comment box below.

Rob Kitchin

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today released the small area population statistics (SAPS) from the 2011 census. For the first time users will now have access to the full set of census variables at the Electoral Division (ED) and new Small Area (SA) level across Ireland. Over the last couple of weeks the All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) has been working closely with the CSO to provide the public with a new set of mapping tools that will allow users take full advantage of the incredible amount of census data now available. This is a major step forward for evidence informed planning in Ireland and users (general public, public sector and private sector) now have access to a free and fully interactive set of on-line tools to get a better understanding of areas and regions across the country. Through AIRO we have developed a National Census Mapping Viewer and a set of individual census mapping tools for every Local and Regional Authority in the country. To get access to the main AIRO census home page use the following link:

National Census Mapping Viewer

On the National Census Mapping Viewer ( we have prepared maps for over 130 variables and have grouped them into the following 14 themes: Population, Religion, Nationality, Education, Social Class, Principal Economic Status, Industry of Employment, Occupation, Housing, Cars per Households, Transport, Communications, Health and Disability. For this mapping tool we are using ArcGIS Viewer for Flex from ESRI, a really useful mapping technology when you are dealing with a very large number of geographical boundaries (3,406 EDs and approx 18k SAs). At present we have just included the mapping at electoral division (ED) level on the national viewer, this will be updated with the full set of small area (SA) data in the coming weeks. We have, however, added unemployment data at SA level for today’s launch and so is the first time that we actually see the full scale of the unemployment problem at the very local level.

To use the tool users simply turn on a theme on the left hand panel and then ‘check’ the map of interest. Remember that you can only show one map at a time with the top checked layer being the one on display – it might take a few moments to get the hang of it but it’s fairly straight forward. To get more information about an area just click on an ED and a pop-up window will provide a very short and basic commentary and a graphic providing more information on the variable. Let’s have a look at some examples:

% Population Aged > 65 plus: This map provides a useful visualization of the distribution of the elderly population across Ireland. As expected we are seeing much higher proportions of elderly population within EDs in rural and peripheral parts of the country.

% population UK by Nationality: The nationality data available at the ED and SA level is broken down into six groupings, users can choose from Irish, UK, Polish, Lithuanian, Other EU 27 or Rest of the World. Each map provides interesting trends and certainly shows some fascinating patterns within urban areas. The map below details the distribution of those whose nationality is classed as UK. What’s striking about this map is the clear pattern of high percentages in south-west cork, north-east Clare/south Galway and a wider area of higher percentages in the Roscommon/Leitrim/Mayo area.

% of Households with Central Heating powered by Peat: There are more than 25 different variables within the housing theme on our national viewer. Maps are available on:

  • type of housing unit (detached, semi-d, flat/apartment etc)
  • age of housing unit (only 2000 to 2005 and post 2006 included at the moment – let us know if you’d like more)
  • tenure (owner occupied, rented etc)
  • type of water supply (group scheme, private scheme etc)
  • type of sewage system (public scheme, individual septic tank etc)
  • and type of fuel used for central heating system.

This last category provides some really interesting maps and shows very clear patterns throughout the country for particular types of fuel. The map below shows the distribution of households that use Peat (including turf) as the primary source of fuel for central heating systems with higher proportions in the midlands and along the western seaboard and then an almost complete absence of use in much of the rest of the country.

Local and Regional Authority Mapping Modules:

As part of the AIRO project and our growing infrastructure of free mapping tools we have now updated all of our Local Authority and Regional Authority mapping modules with the 2011 Census data for Electoral Divisions. The data within each mapping tool mimic the themes that are available for download from the CSO. In total, each mapping module now has 975 individual variables (raw counts and pre calculated percentages and ratios) and includes data from 2006 where possible. Over the next week we will start to build in the Small Area data for each LA/RA, all going well this will be done by Thursday 9th of August. We are also hoping to update all of the mapping modules for Local Partnerships but this may take some time.

To access the mapping modules go to the main AIRO census page (click here) and choose from the drop down list for either LA or RA. Just click View once you’ve made your selection. Once it’s loaded you simply just click on ‘data’ and choose your indicator and away you go.

We hope you enjoy the new tools and they prove to be useful for the work that you do. We’re happy to take comments and suggestions on additional datasets that should also be included. We’re also planning to run a number of training sessions in the coming weeks and months, again please get in touch if you or your organisation are interested.

For further information please contact AIRO at the following: email –, phone – 353 1 7086688


AIRO National Census Mapping Viewer:

Local and Regional Authority Mapping Modules:

CSO SAPSMap data download site:

Justin Gleeson & Aoife Dowling

First official results of Census 2011 were released this morning

Results released at new Small Area level (18,488 areas)

All data available in tables from CSO and graphs and maps from AIRO, NUI Maynooth

The first set of definitive Census 2011 are released today, less than a year after being collected.  The results consist of the principal demographic results and provide us with a detailed snapshot of the country in April 2011.  The CSO report – This is Ireland – can be found here.

There are two big changes in how the census results are being released. (more…)