Income divide between Dublin and poorer regions rises again

CSO figures also show Dublin accounted for 42% of the State’s total GDP in 2012

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the Dublin region had the highest average disposable income in per person in 2012. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the Dublin region had the highest average disposable income in per person in 2012. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

 

The income gap between Dublin and rest of the country has begun to rise again after narrowing at the height of the recession.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show that Dublin accounted for 42 per cent of the State’s total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, which was €173 billion.

The CSO’s study of county incomes and regional GDP shows Dublin had the highest average disposable income in per person in 2012.

At €22,011, it was 13 per cent higher than the State average of €19,468 and approximately 1.9 per cent higher than the previous year.

Of the other seven regions, only the midwest, at €19,701, had an average disposable income per person higher than the State average.

The Border region with €17,126 and the midland region with €17,288 fared worst among the eight regions, coming in 12 per cent below the State average in each case.

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Significantly, the figures show the gap between Dublin and the regions with the lowest average disposable income has been increasing since 2010.

In 2010, the difference between maximum and minimum disposable incomes on a regional basis was €3,467, the lowest level on record, but the gap has since begun to widen.

While average disposable incomes in Dublin rose by €400 in 2012 those of the lowest regions, the midlands in 2011 and the Border in 2012, fell by €160.

The findings come on the back of a report this week by the Nevin Economic Research Institute suggesting the State’s economic recovery - as measured by job creation - was almost exclusively concentrated in Dublin and the mid east region.

The CSO figures showed Dublin remains the only region with higher per capita disposable income than the State average during the entire 2003-2012 period while the midland, Border and west regions have continuously earned less than the State average.

A breakdown of the figures on a county-by-county basis showed Dublin, Kildare, Limerick and Cork were the only counties where per capita disposable income exceeded the State average in 2012.

In contrast, counties like Donegal, Cavan, Laois, Mayo, Carlow and Kerry never had per capita disposable income greater than the State average during the entire period 2003 to 2012.

In Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow and Cork, primary income exceeded disposable income in 2012. These were also the counties with the highest employment rates according to the results of the 2011 Census.

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the figures highlighted the importance of Dublin “as the engine of the national economy”.

“These figures are indicative of Dublin’s success in being able to punch above its weight on the global stage,” chief executive Gina Quin said.