Unusual Stats for Christmas



Gerry O'Sullivan

Posted: 20 December, 2018

Some unusual stats about Irish higher education for you to consider this Christmas…

  • The 10 most common first names of students enrolled in higher education in Ireland are Conor, David, Sarah, Sean, Niamh, Aoife, Michael, James, John and Ciara. These 10 first names account for 9% of all higher education enrolments.
  • 8 of these 10 first names are also in the list of the 10 most common first names of new entrants to higher education in 2017/18. Michael and John are not in the top 10 new entrant list – replaced by Jack and Emma.
  • Murphy is the most common surname of students enrolled in higher education. The rest of the top 10 is comprised of Kelly, Ryan, Byrne, Walsh, O’Sullivan, O’Brien, O’Connor, Doyle and McCarthy. These 10 are also the most common 10 surnames of new entrants in 2017/18.
  • Age is only a number – there are 1,277 students enrolled in higher education aged 60 years or more.
  • 518, 432 and 415 students enrolled in higher education were born on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day respectively. These are among the 8 least common birthdays all year.
  • 139 students enrolled in higher education were born on the 29th February – the least common birthday of all.
  • New Year’s Eve is the most common birthday for students enrolled in higher education from Limerick.
  • 710 students enrolled in higher education were born on the 1st January – this is actually the 4th most common birthday all year. The 1st October and 30th September (consecutive days!) are the two most common birthdays. These dates are around 9 months after New Years Eve.
  • The birthdays of 633 students not from Ireland enrolled here in higher education fall on the 9 days between Christmas Eve and New Years Day.
  • Students from Cavan enrolled in higher education are youngest on average at 23 years old; students from Carlow are oldest on average at 27 years old.
  • 77% of students from Cork are enrolled in higher education institutions in their own region (south-west); this compares to 68% of students from Galway (west) and 69% of students from Limerick (mid-west).
  • 8% of students from Cork are enrolled in higher education institutions in Dublin, a lower proportion than any other County.