Ireland’s most desirable places to live have been revealed using data analysis by SAS.

SAS used its capabilities in artificial intelligence to create the list from publically available data such as, social media sites, review sites like TripAdviser, and city studies.

Dublin dominated in the rankings with the suburbs of Artane, Sallynoggin, Drumcondra, Rathgar, Blackrock, Donnycarney, and Irishtown all taking a place on the list. The towns of Killarney in County Kerry and Bundoran in Donegal were also named among Ireland’s best.

The locations were analysed across eight different categories, generated by machine learning, including safety & infrastructure, healthcare, restaurants & shopping, culture, and attractiveness to families.

The findings are part of the Paradise Found project which has analysed nearly 150,000 locations worldwide, across 193 countries. The project identified the best seven places to live globally:

  1.  West Perth, Australia
  2. Feijenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  3. New York, NY, United States
  4. Sandy Bay, Australia
  5. Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
  6. Zurich, Switzerland
  7. Woodinville, WA, United States


The machine learning process used all publicly available data that analysts could obtain and an algorithm then determined the importance of that data. The key criteria was combined with indicators for quality of life, for example the price of common grocery items such as a kilogram of bananas, the number of trees, and the number of hours a person spends in traffic jams each year.

“The data doesn’t lie,” explained John Spooner, Head of Data Science at SAS UK & Ireland. “When putting together a conventional survey, it’s all too easy for unconscious bias to creep in when selecting the criteria to use when determining which data should be collected and analysed. For Paradise Found, however, we processed all the available data and allowed machine learning algorithms to decide which criteria are truly important. This way, no aspect can be ignored simply because no one was looking for it.”

Written and edited and prepared by Amy Murphy, Journalism student from DCU.

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