Recent figures released by the Statistics office from last year's census merit some thought.
Between 2011 and 2016, the over 65 age group grew over 19%. The average age of the citizen went up by 16 months to 37.4 years. By 2041, there will be 1.4 million over 65, which will represent 22% of the population. At the moment we are approx 650,000, with 456 over 100.
While the number of primary and secondary school students is rising by 7%, there has been a drop in the under 3s. This could be a trend in the coming years. Many of the foreign nationals have upped and gone, taking their children with them.
There is a minister with special responsibility for older people and he has been throwing out threats. No more retirement at 65. And then when you get sick and need a nursing home ( over 22, 000 there at the moment), pay for it yourselves.
Then there is the situation of whether the next section of the population will make it to retirement, especially if they are male. It is easier to get figures from the UK..It is estimated that cases of prostate cancer will almost double globally in the next 15 years. At the moment, in the UK, one man dies from prostate cancer every 45 minutes. While early detection rates have risen and the treatment is much more effective, the sheer numbers of men getting prostate cancer is shocking.
And then there is suicide.
3 out of every 4 suicides in the UK are men. In Ireland we have approx 600 suicides a year, , which is 2 per day, but there are approx 10,000 attempts
75% of our male inmates in the prison system have addiction issues. 85% of the women do. If they do not have a problem with addiction on entering prison, they almost certainly have when leaving. Food for thought.