Irish GDP 27% higher per head than EU average, survey says


IRELAND’S GROSS domestic product (GDP) per head was still above most EU countries in 2009, despite the recession, new data showed yesterday.

The Eurostat survey found Irish GDP was 27 per cent higher than the EU average per inhabitant, ranking the country ahead of Germany, the UK, Sweden, Austria and Denmark, and just behind Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

However, the survey also noted that the figure had fallen by 20 percentage points in relation to the EU average since 2007, when it was 47 percentage points above the average. A comparable study at that stage concluded that Ireland was the second-richest EU state.

GDP expressed in purchasing power standards was also higher than the EU average last year, with Ireland, Austria and Denmark between 20 and 30 percentage points above that figure. Luxembourg was more than 2½ times the EU average, while the Netherlands was more than 30 percentage points above it.

Overall, GDP per inhabitant in member states last year was in the range of 44 per cent to 271 per cent of the EU 27 per cent average.

Eurostat pointed out that the high GDP per inhabitant in Luxembourg is partly due to the country’s large share of cross-border workers. While these workers contribute to GDP, they are not considered to be part of the resident population for the purposes of this study.

The data in the report is based on revised purchasing power parities, GDP and population figures. Eurostat’s purchasing power standard is an artificial currency unit that eliminates price differences between countries.