PROTESTANTS live longer than Catholics in Ireland according to new research from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
This is due, in part, to Protestants living “thriftier” lifestyles, according to Irish historian Roy Foster.
CSO researchers studied data of people who died over a 12-month period after April 24, 2016, and found that Catholics had a higher mortality rate.
563 Protestants died for every 100,000 people compared with 660 Catholics.
This is described as a “standardised death rate”, which means it doesn’t represent absolute figures, but is rather a statistical measure that factors out distorting variations in population groups so direct comparisons can be made.
“[Protestants] are experts at keeping themselves warm in cold houses,” said Mr Foster.
Dr Ida Milne, a lecturer in European history at Carlow College backed up Foster’s claim.
“It has quite a lot to do with frugality,” she said.
“They [Protestants] would be very thrifty and frugal, and would probably not overheat.
“They are healthier but they might not have done it for healthier reasons. They would see thrift and not living a luxurious lifestyle as a virtue so that might mean that they might be more sparing with doughnuts,” she added.
The research also showed that people living in more affluent areas tended to live longer, as did married people compared with single people.
People with higher education and managerial level jobs also tended to live longer than those with just primary school education and unskilled workers respectively.