The VitalSigns survey, conducted by a philanthropic group Community Foundation for Ireland (CFI), provides a snapshot of trends and issues affecting people in modern Ireland.
The report graded 12 areas which most affect people’s quality of life, and asked respondents to rank their priorities in each area.
Of the 119 priority options presented to respondents, eight of the top 10 items listed related to education and learning. The quality of the education system; literacy levels; universities and third-level education; and early childhood education topped the priority rankings in that order.
Libraries and reading, numeracy levels and educational attainment rates also featured.
Air quality and the quality of home life for children and young people were the only two non-educational areas to be listed in the top 10.
Perhaps the most surprising finding was the ranking of religion and spirituality, which respondents placed last of all 119 priority options, despite the country’s once strong Catholic identity.