Home > Healthy Ireland survey 2022: summary report.

Ipsos MRBI. (2022) Healthy Ireland survey 2022: summary report. Dublin: Government of Ireland.

PDF (Healthy Ireland survey 2022 summary)

The Healthy Ireland Survey is an annual survey conducted with a representative sample of the population aged 15 and older living in Ireland. The sample size is typically in the region of over 7.500 people. Fieldwork to date has been conducted by Ipsos MRBI.

General Health

  • Overall, 82% of respondents perceived their health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, compared to 3% who perceived their health as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’.
  • 28% of respondents report having a long-term illness or chronic condition that has lasted 6 months or more. The most commonly diagnosed conditions are high blood pressure (6%), arthritis (5%), asthma (4%), diabetes (4%) and high cholesterol (3%).


  • 18% of the population are current smokers, 14% smoke daily and 4% smoke occasionally. 25 to 34 year-olds are the age group most likely to smoke, as was the case in all survey waves between 2015 and 2019.
  • Men are more likely than women to smoke across all age groups with the differential being widest among those aged 25 to 34. Just over a third (34%) of men and 14% of women in this age group are smokers.
  • Over a quarter (27%) of men in the 25-34 age group are daily smokers, compared with 10% of women of the same age. The equivalent proportions in the 2021 survey were 20% and 16% respectively.
  • 46% of all who smoked in the last 12 months have attempted to quit; 23% of those who attempted to quit in the last 12 months were successful.
  • 3% of the population have used e-cigarettes, with a further 3% reporting have tried them in the past but no longer use them. Usage of e-cigarettes is highest among those aged under 25 with 6% in this age group currently using them.

Alcohol Consumption

  • 67% of people have consumed alcohol in the previous 6 months, an increase of 1% since 2021. Those aged 15-34 most likely to have consumed alcohol in the last six months.
  • Gender differences in alcohol consumption are small, with men (69%) slightly more likely than women (65%) to have consumed alcohol in the prior 6 months.
  • Roughly half (52%) who had consumed alcohol in the previous 6 months reported they normally drink at least once a week, with a further 32% drinking multiple times a week.
  • Men drink alcohol more frequently than women. 36% of male drinkers drink alcohol more than once a week, compared to 27% of female drinkers. These figures are broadly unchanged since 2021.
  • There has been a decline in drinking frequency among 35 to 44 year olds. Just over half (51%) of drinkers in this age group drink at least once a week, with 26% doing so multiple times a week. This compares with 60% and 36% respectively in 2021.
  • 32% of those who consumed alcohol in the previous 6 months are considered binge drinkers. This is higher than was measured in 2021 (22%), but remains behind the levels of binge drinking measured in 2018 (37%).
  • This means that 22% of the population (aged 15+) are categorised as binge drinkers, compared with 20% in 2021, and 28% in 2018.

Health Behaviors & COVID-19
Smoking & COVID-19

  • While overall smoking prevalence has remained unchanged over the period of Covid-19 restrictions, smokers are reporting changes in the amount that they smoke.
  • The 2022 Survey found that just over a third (36%) of smokers report a change in their smoking behaviour since the start of the Covid-19 restrictions, with 19% smoking more and 17% smoking less that they did previously.
  • The results of the 2021 survey identified that half of smokers reported a change, with 28% smoking more and 21% smoking less. This suggests that there has been a decline in the number of smokers who are smoking more with behaviours returning to pre-Covid-19 levels.
  • This pattern is similar across all gender and age groups with younger and older smokers alike less likely now to report an increase in the amount they smoke when compared to the 2021 survey wave.

Alcohol Consumption & COVID-19

  • The restrictions introduced to restrict the spread of Covid-19 meant that pubs and restaurants remained closed throughout much of the fieldwork period during the previous wave of the survey in 2021, with access to hospitality limited.
  • A small decline in frequency of alcohol consumption (from 41% to 37% of the population drinking alcohol at least once a week). However, 42% of drinkers reported that they were drinking less alcohol since the start of the Covid-19 restrictions.
  • The 2022 Survey found that the proportion reporting that they drink less has declined to 33%, with 54% claiming that the amount of alcohol they consume has remained unchanged. Roughly one in eight drinkers (13%) report that they now drink more – the same as measured in the previous wave.
  • While there are various ways in which this can be interpreted, it suggests that alcohol consumption patterns for some have returned to what they were prior to the Covid-19 restrictions, but that for many drinkers they are still drinking less than they were prior to the introduction of restrictions.
  • One of the key findings emerging from the previous survey was a gender difference in drinking patterns, particularly between mothers and fathers. Previously almost 1 in 5 (19%) mothers who drink reported that they were now drinking more, compared to 13% of fathers who reported the same. This gender difference is no longer evident in this wave with equal proportions of women and men, as well as mothers and fathers, now reporting that they drink more (13% in all cases).

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