Almost 70% of 20-year-olds in the Ardee area were in full time education last year, according to the latest tranche of data released from the 2016 Census.
The new figures reveal that 66.1% of 20-year-olds in the Ardee town area (classified as the electoral division as Ardee Urban) were in full time education in April 2016, when the Census was taken.
In the Ardee Rural area – taking in Smarmore, Hunterstown, Ballapousta, Shanlis, Blakestown, Cookstown, Artnalivery, Pepperstown, Lambstown, Gudderstown, Richardstown and Ballybailie amongst others – 70% of 20-year-olds were found to be in full time education.
Last December, The Irish Times published their annual report into school leavers across the country and it showed that 74% of students who sat the Leaving Certificate in Ardee Community School last June went onto third level education.
76 of the 108 pupils who sat the Leaving Cert in Ardee went on to accept a place in higher education, with 39 of them enrolling at DKIT. 11 school leavers took up a place at Dublin City University while seven went to DIT.
Just one Ardee graduate in 2016 went to Trinity College while four have started at Maynooth University in the 2016/17 academic year and three opted for the National College of Art & Design.
Ardee Community School’s rate of students progressing to third level education has risen exponentially in the last decade. In 2007, just 50 students progressed to third level learning – compared to 74 in 2016. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of pupils progressing to university year-on-year rose from 11 to 23. This year, the figure sits at 18.
Nationally, the figures show that 42% of people in Ireland had third level education in 2016, compared to just 13.6% in 1991. 43.2% of females nationwide have attained third level education qualifications, compared to 40.7% men.
The latest Census 2016 release also reveals the usage of the Irish language across the country. It made grim reading for Louth, with the figures revealing that only 34.1% of people in Louth are able to speak Irish – the second lowest percentage in Ireland. Only Dublin city (29.9%) has a lower ability level.7
428 people in Ardee speak Irish daily within the education system, while only two speak Irish daily within and daily outside education system. A further 14 who speak it daily in the classroom speak it at least once weekly.
The Census says that 69 Ardonians speak Irish weekly outside education only while 311 never speak Irish outside education.