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We're fourth in the GDP league

IRELAND'S gross domestic product per head was the fourth highest among the 27 EU states in 2011, according to new data by statistic agency Eurostat.

It was 127pc of the average when GDP figures are adjusted for purchasing power.

The range among the EU's 27 countries ranged from 45pc to 274pc in Luxembourg.

However, the EU organisation outlined that when the figures are viewed in terms of actual individual consumption, Ireland ranked 12th out of 27.

Only Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria had higher GDP per capita levels last year.

Irish per-head GDP first exceeded the average in the mid-1990s and grew rapidly until 2007.

When it peaked in that year, Irish GDP per head was 48pc above the average. However, since then the decline is the largest of any EU member state.