The Hope Gap:

Hope looks to the future, often despite the past. These past ten years have been difficult for Ireland as boom gave way to bust. No wonder people are hesitant about the future. Yet one finding in The Future of Ireland research is that people are more positive about their personal lives than they dare be about the nation as a whole.

  • Only 19% of Irish adults in our survey feels that Ireland is a better place now than it was 10 years ago (2005)
  • 37% say their personal lives are better now than back then, rising to 50% of under 35's

But what about the future? The ‘hope gap’ is narrowing looking ahead

  • 42% of Irish people expect Ireland to be a better place in 10 years’ time (2025)
  • 44% expect their own personal lives to be better by then as well

Age differences in outlook about the future are more extreme than about the past:

  • 24% of over 60's expect to be personally worse off by 2025, compared to 2% of under 25's


Among the Nations

  • The vast majority (59%) of Irish people are proud of Ireland’s achievements as an independent nation, and only 13% are not
  • Yet, just 24% think that Ireland today is a nation the leaders of the Rising would be proud off; 44% think not

However, patriotic pride does not translate into economic optimism in The Future of Ireland.

  • Only 26% think it likely that Ireland will have one of the highest standards of living in Europe by 2025
  • 46% think it unlikely
  • The vast majority - 74% - would be happy if we achieved such an outcome



A major theme throughout The Future of Ireland findings is that people are becoming more ‘self-sufficient’ when it comes to shaping their personal future. We are seeing an emerging sense of responsibility - independent of traditional sources of institutional authority - for what we can all become both individually and collectively. Most people in our survey expect to be better off materially in future.

Overall, and despite the great difficulties Ireland has faced in the past 7-8 years, the Irish remain hopeful, proud of their achievements and optimistic about the future for them and their families.

Download the full report below and take part in the conversation on our Twitter feed:@omd_fire. Don't forget to use #futureire to share your views!


Future of Ireland Ulster Bank