Monday, September 26, 2016

How do Counties and Regions in Ireland Compare for Number of Degrees? #Analytics #HDSDA #97

Last week I noticed a jump (4 times normal) in the number of views on this blog when I posted about "Which is the smartest county in Ireland?" - I compared the 26 counties for total number of PhDs, and followed up the next day with a breakdown for men and women. It was interesting to note the wide discrepancies between the counties with high numbers of PhDs and low numbers. Today I'm taking a quick look at some more Small Area Populations Statistics (SAPS) from the Central Statistics Office (2011 Census).

The data are downloaded in CSV format from SAPS and the data I am examining relates to the number of people in each of the 34 areas with "Honours Bachelor Degree, Professional Qualification (or both)" as the highest level of education achieved. I am only using data for adults (18 or over). I used Excel to convert that actual numbers in each area into a percentage of the adult population within each area to make for more useful comparisons. Below is a bar plot (drawn using R) comparing each of the 34 areas given in the SAPS data:

Click on image to enlarge.

You can already see that there is a less dramatic difference between areas than for doctorate degrees. DĂșn Laoghaire-Rathdown comes out the highest with 14.5% of the adult population having a degree or professional qualification. Galway city, Fingal, and Dublin City are next on around 10% each, with surprisingly (to me) South Dublin lagging behind on 8%. County Offaly is the county with the lowest number of percentage degrees on 5.5%. Despite the presence of the University of Limerick and Limerick IT, Limerick City has the second lowest proportion of degrees at 5.7% - interestingly Limerick county is on 7.7%. As with the PhD data, counties and areas where there are no Colleges (with the exception of Limerick) tend to have a lower proportion of their populations having a degree or professional qualification. 

I don't think we can read into these data that there is an educational divide between rural and urban areas. Urban areas are where the jobs are for people with degrees, so I'm guessing that the differences are due as much to this rather than there are (for example) less Offaly people with a degree than other areas. 

Tomorrow I'll take a look at comparing men and women in each area.

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