Ibec’s Better Lives Better Business research finds Quality of Life in Ireland has dipped

December 12, 2022

In a new national survey, Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has found that 60% of people feel the general quality of life in Ireland over the past five years has disimproved. 

Ibec commissioned Amárach to conduct the general population survey to better understand people’s overall quality of life in Ireland and what could be done to enhance it. The research forms part of Ibec’s Better Lives, Better Business campaign which aims to make Ireland a better place to live and work. 

The research was conducted in the second half of November 2022 and surveyed 1,000 people with quotas set on gender, age, social class and region to achieve a sample aligned with national population.

Amongst the key findings were: 

Despite the negative comparison to this time five years ago, a strong majority of people, 69%, rated their own general quality of life positively. 
Respondents were asked to rate their level of worry on a range of different aspects, from sufficient transport services to access to upskilling/training to housing to cost of living and more. Cost of energy was at the top with 56% very worried (score of 9-10) along with cost of living (46% very worried) and housing (33% very worried). 
Under 35’s are particularly worried about sufficient public transport services and housing. It might be surprising to some that over the 55’s are more likely to be very worried about climate change compared to younger age groups. 
When asked what would make the biggest difference to improve your quality of life unsurprisingly more affordable housing (24%) and enhanced transport options (23%) are rated the highest (score 9-10). 
More affordable housing would make very little significant difference (score 1-2) to 40% of Irish adults. Affordable housing is clearly a concern skewed towards the younger age groups, especially those aged 25-34. 
Improved ‘public infrastructure’ namely public amenities, streetlights, cycle lanes, etc was ranked above affordable eldercare and childcare as enhancing people’s quality of life. 

Speaking about the findings, Ibec Executive Director of Lobbying and Influence Fergal O’Brien said: “The next ten years will see a transformation in the country. By 2030 there will be 1.1 million additional people on the island. We have also set ambitious targets to decarbonise society and the economy, implement the National Planning Framework to re-balance regional growth, and encourage major changes in how people live and work, over the coming years. Whilst the short-term focus may be on the challenges and changes brought about by Covid-19 and Brexit, we must plan for these less dramatic but equally important long-term challenges which litter our country’s path. We will not maximise the benefits of these significant changes without careful planning and significant investment. Quality of life issues are now core for the business community and unless we successfully address challenges in relation to housing and other aspects, in addition to the social fallout, Ireland will also struggle to succeed economically. 

“These survey results show that there is much room for and appetite for improvement across the population. The Ibec Better Lives, Better Business Campaign sets out a range of innovative policy proposals and positions aimed at contributing to the public debate on housing, planning, energy, social policy and infrastructure. If Ireland is to continue to be great place to do business and a place where the intangibles of talent, skills and mobile capital meet, then we must translate this increased public and private ambition into sustained and tangible improvements in Ireland’s quality of life across the country.”