Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) is delighted to see the launch of the latest European Social Survey. We conducted fieldwork in Ireland between November 2018 and May 2019 through face-to-face interviews with a total of 2,217 individuals. The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically driven cross-national survey that has been conducted across Europe since its establishment in 2001.

A snapshot of the results:

In general, Irish society is trusting. However, levels of trust in others declined between 2004 and 2012, when Ireland was characterised by economic instability and fiscal austerity.  Levels of trust in others recovered after 2012,  but they may have flattened out or even deteriorated between 2016 and 2018. Individuals with tertiary education tend to be far more trusting of others than those with lower levels of educational attainment. 

About two-thirds of people in Ireland have high levels of trust in An Garda Siochána and more than half have high levels of trust in the legal system. Trust in politicians and political parties is much lower: about 55% have low levels of trust in politicians or political parties, while just over a quarter have high levels of trust. Trust in politicians and political institutions fell during the economic crisis and has recovered in recent years.

Just over two-thirds of the Irish population (68%) indicate that they belong to a particular religion or denomination. Religiosity has steadily declined over the last decade and had been at or over 80% of the population prior to 2006.

See a summary of the report here

See key findings here