Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in Ireland instead of Belgium, you would:

Health

be 14.5% more likely to be obese


In Belgium, 22.1% of adults are obese. In Ireland, that number is 25.3% of people.

Economy

make 62.0% more money


Belgium has a GDP per capita of $46,600, while in Ireland, the GDP per capita is $75,500.

be 12.3% less likely to be unemployed


In Belgium, 7.3% of adults are unemployed. In Ireland, that number is 6.4%.

be 45.7% less likely to be live below the poverty line


In Belgium, 15.1% live below the poverty line. In Ireland, however, that number is 8.2%.

spend 10.6% less on taxes


Belgium has a top tax rate of 53.7%. In Ireland, the top tax rate is 48.0%.

Life

have 24.8% more children


In Belgium, there are approximately 11.3 babies per 1,000 people. In Ireland, there are 14.1 babies per 1,000 people.

Expenditures

spend 25.8% less on education


Belgium spends 6.6% of its total GDP on education. Ireland spends 4.9% of total GDP on education.

spend 26.4% less on healthcare


Belgium spends 10.6% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Ireland, that number is 7.8% of GDP.

Geography

see 21.8 times more coastline


Belgium has a total of 66 km of coastline. In Ireland, that number is 1,448 km.

Ireland: At a glance

Ireland is a sovereign country in Europe, with a total land area of approximately 68,883 sq km. 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. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century saw the population of the island drop by one third through starvation and emigration. For more than a century after that the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU. The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising which touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern counties remained part of the UK. Unresolved issues in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the "Troubles" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker what is known as The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between Irish and British governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the Eurozone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.

How big is Ireland compared to Belgium? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: Service Public Fédéral Finances, The World Factbook, The Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

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