CSO: Irish prices still above most of EU

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Ireland remains one of Europe's most expensive countries to live in.

The CSO's Measuring Ireland's Progress Report for 2012 found that prices here were 15% higher than the EU average.

However, that is down considerably from 2008 when Irish prices were the second highest in the EU.

The study also includes crime figures - which show that from 2008 until 2012 the number of sexual offences rose by 50%, while the number of homicides fell by more than 40%.

The CSO says the figures show Ireland has one of the fastest growing populations with the highest fertility rate and second lowest divorce rate in the EU.

Almost a third of the population is under the age of 14 - the highest proportion in Europe - and under a fifth are over the age of 65 - the second lowest in the EU.

It says that Irish women on average have two children, the highest rate in Europe, edging out France and the UK.

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