Border region has the lowest disposable income in the state

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editorial image

The border region, which includes Louth, has been shown to have the lowest disposable income in Ireland, some 11 per cent lower than the national average.

While there is no great suprise that the border region has the lowest, what is striking is that the gap between disposable income in the region and those in Dublin has widened signifcantly.

The latest figures for the CSO relate to the years 2010 and 2011. The gap between the maximum and minimum value of disposable income per person per region increased from €2,896 in 2010 to €4,345 in 2011 with Dublin incomes increasing by €632 while those of the lowest region (Midland in 2010 becoming Border in 2011) decreasing by €817.

The Border region also saw a decrease of 2.8 percentage points in terms of the State average (-8.1% in 2010 and -10.9% in 2011).

The average person in the border region had €898 less in 2011 than in 2010.

The premium of 11.9 per cent which Dublin had compared with the State total in 2011, is greater than the 6.4% premium in 2010 (see graph).

Conversely the Border region had a decrease of 2.8 percentage points in terms of the State average (-8.1% in 2010 and -10.9% in 2011).

Dublin was the only region with higher per capita disposable income than the State average during the entire 2002-2011 period, while the Midland and Border regions have occupied the lowest ends of the disposable income distribution range for the last four years.

Viewed in a slightly longer term perspective (i.e. from 2002 onwards) the divergence between the regional authority areas has narrowed over the years.

While the county figures involve uncertainty they do provide useful indication of the degree of variability at county level. Dublin, Kildare, Limerick and Cork are the only counties where per capita disposable income exceeds the state average in 2011 similar to 2010.

At the other end of the spectrum, the counties of Donegal and Kerry have had per capita disposable incomes below 85 and 90 per cent respectively of the State level during the entire period of 2002 to 2011.

However, in line with the results at regional authority level the degree of variability between the county income figures has been steadily declining since 2002.


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