ESRI Newsletter, July/August 2023

Message from the Director

Dear Reader,

I hope you had a pleasant summer. This newsletter takes a break every summer, meaning that today you are reading an edition covering both July and August.

This was a busy summer for the Institute with various reports launched and some excellent articles appearing in national media. We have also recently been awarded a Bronze award from Athena Swan Ireland. We are Ireland's first research institute to win a Bronze award for its progress on gender equality. 

On the environmental front, the ESRI’s contribution to the EPA’s radon risk map redesign means that 72% more people said they would test for radon in their homes. Our Behavioural Research Unit tested 16 different maps with varied features in an online experiment involving 1,700 adults. The redesigns were based on the psychology of risk perception and all the new maps outperformed the then in-use EPA map, increasing appreciation of the risk and willingness to test. The best performing map has now been adopted by the EPA.

Our research on housing affordability generated interesting statistics on home ownership. Ireland has the 4th highest rate of homeownership for households aged 40+ (just under 80%), but only the 10th highest for households aged <40 (34%). Ireland now has one of the biggest gaps in ownership rates between younger and older generations in Europe. More than one-in-four young adults aged 25-34 in Ireland remained living with parents in 2019. We saw the largest rise in this share between 2015 and 2019.

Work on the all-island economy found that trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland has grown substantially since Brexit. Ireland purchased 53% of total Northern Ireland exports and accounted for almost 35 % of Northern Ireland’s imports. The next most important export partner for Northern Ireland is Germany, accounting for 15% of total exports. The analysis was undertaken as part of a research programme on the all-island economy funded by Ibec.

Over the next few weeks, we have reports on child poverty, tenancies and student mobility in Ireland due to be published. You can find further details of recently published research and upcoming events below.


Professor Alan Barrett