Dublin incomes nearly a fifth higher than national average

CSO figures underscore concentration of economic activity and wealth in capital

CSO figures for 2016 show Dublin had the highest average disposable income per person of any region at €24,431.

CSO figures for 2016 show Dublin had the highest average disposable income per person of any region at €24,431.

 

Average household disposable income in Dublin is nearly a fifth higher than the national average, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

CSO figures for 2016 show Dublin had the highest average disposable income per person of any region at €24,431.

This was 18.5 per cent higher than the State average of €20,638 and 41 per cent higher than the Border region, which had the lowest per-capita disposable income of €17,370.

The figures also indicate that the gap between Dublin and the rest of the State is growing, underscoring concern that the Republic’s economy has become too lopsided in favour of Dublin.

Critics point out, however, that the additional income generated by people living in Dublin is absorbed by the additional cost of living there.

Of the other regions, only the midwest at €20,306 and the mideast at €19,911 had an average disposable income on a par with the State average.

The southeast and the southwest regions had per capita disposable incomes of €19,387 and €19,784 respectively while the midland region with €17,717 was the second lowest, nearly 17 per cent below the State average.

Divergence

Significantly, the divergence in income between the regions and Dublin was at its lowest in 2010 at the height of the financial crisis but has widened each year since then.

The CSO cautioned that while the county-by-county figures “involve uncertainty, they do provide a useful indication of the degree of variability at county level”.

Dublin, Limerick and Kildare were the only counties where per-capita disposable income exceeded the State average in 2016, with Wicklow, Cork and Waterford coming next in the rankings.

At the other end of the spectrum, it said some counties have never had per-capita disposable income greater than the State average during the entire period 2004 to 2016. These counties were mainly in the west and the Border region.

The CSO noted that total household income was defined as primary income plus social transfers. Disposable household income is then this household income less taxes.

In the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Limerick and Cork, primary income noticeably exceeded disposable income in 2016, it said, while noting that these were counties with high employment rates as indicated in the results of the 2016 census.