The wealth of the Irish – how do your assets match up?

Smart Money: New Central Bank analysis of State’s wealth has key lessons

Total gross wealth, before subtracting debt, is €667.4 billion – of which around 60 per cent is accounted for by principal private residences. Photograph: iStock

Total gross wealth, before subtracting debt, is €667.4 billion – of which around 60 per cent is accounted for by principal private residences. Photograph: iStock

Data on Irish wealth is limited – so a new Central Bank paper with an assessment of the latest estimates of the average assets of Irish households is worth a look. The survey, undertaken by the Central Statistics Office, shows that by 2018 Irish people were significantly richer than five years earlier. And – no surprise – the vast bulk of wealth for most households was tied up in property, mostly the family home. Assets such as savings have increased a bit, but in terms of cash resources Irish households still rank behind their peers elsewhere in the EU. Let’s looks at the data from the CSO’s Household Finance and Consumption (HFC) survey and at the conclusions drawn by the Central Bank.

1. The wealth of the Irish: What do the figures show?

The outline data from the survey was published earlier this year and has since been revised a bit and added to by international comparisons.The average household had net wealth – assets minus debt – of €179,200 in 2018, up by €74,000, or 76 per cent, from the previous survey in 2013. Note that this is the median – the middle figure at which the same number of households have more wealth as those that have less.

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