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Westmeath women beat men in education

Story by Tom Kelly

Friday, 30th November, 2012 8:59am

Westmeath women beat men in education

Westmeath's female population are significantly better qualified, educationally speaking, than their male counterparts.

That's according to the latest round of census figures, which reveal that 25% of Westmeath women over the age of 15 are college graduates compared to only 19% of Westmeath males.

In total, there are 11,720 Lakeside college graduates, 6761 females and 4,959 males. The social sciences, business and law are the most popular subjects and more than a third (4491) of all local graduates chose these fields of study.

Only 225 Westmeath people have PhDs.

However, while Westmeath's female students are outperforming their male contemporaries, overall the county lags behind most of the country when it comes to attaining third level qualifications: only 27% of the population do so, compared to 33% in the rest of Leinster and 31% in the state.

Limerick has the worst record as only 17% of over 15s acquire a third level qualification, while 40% of over 15s living in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown have third level qualifications.

According to the CSO, which compiled the report, some 6,870 or 12% of Westmeath people left full-time education before the age of 16, slightly fewer than the national average.

The offspring of parents who achieved third level qualifications stand a much greater chance of going to college. According to the report, 89% of 20-year-olds whose had two parents who went to college followed in their footsteps, while only 45% of the children of early school leavers made it to third level.

The report, What We Know - A Study Of Education And Skills In Ireland, also revealed that 33,771 Westmeath people, 40% of the population, claim that they can speak Irish, but only 789 (1%) claim to speak it on a daily basis outside education.

Galway (51%) had the largest percentage of Irish speakers in the country.

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