Southern part of Ireland third richest in EU but west lags behind

Report based on GDP per capita highlights economic differences across Ireland

According to an examination of regional GDP across the EU, the average in the southern region of the Republic, which includes Cork city (above), is €30,000 per person. Photograph: iStock

According to an examination of regional GDP across the EU, the average in the southern region of the Republic, which includes Cork city (above), is €30,000 per person. Photograph: iStock

 

Residents of Cork, Limerick and Waterford are living in the third-richest region across the European Union, according to a new report from Eurostat.

This puts them behind the residents of part of London and Luxembourg but ahead of those in Dublin, which ranked in fifth place.

According to an examination of regional gross domestic product (GDP) per person across the EU, the average is €30,000 per person. Some regions – inner London, for example – have a GDP per capita of as much as 626 per cent of this, while others, namely Bulgaria, have a per-person percentage of just 31 per cent.

The Republic, with its GDP swollen by the impact of multinationals, performs particularly strongly in the study, with the southern region, encompassing the midwest, southeast and southwest, ranked in third place. This places it behind one part of London and Luxembourg, in the study, as the region with the third-highest GDP per capita.

Residents of this region have a GDP per capita of €74,700, or 220 per cent of the EU average, when adjusted for purchasing power. The region is home to multinationals such as Apple, Boston Scientific and Regeneron.

Meanwhile, the eastern part of the country, covering areas including Dublin, Kildare and the midlands, lags behind in fifth place, with GDP per capita of €64,000, even though the population-heavy region contributes more than half of the Republic’s GDP.

Economically disadvantaged

The figures also show how the Republic’s northern and western region, which includes the border counties, such as Donegal and Monaghan, and those in the west, such as Mayo and Galway, are more economically disadvantaged.

The GDP the region generates is far less, at just €24 billion, accounting for just 8.2 per cent of the country’s income.

This means that residents of the region actually have a GDP per person that is below the EU average, at just €28,400. This puts them on a par with residents of Normandy in France (€28,100), Lancashire in the UK (€28,200), and Brandenburg in Germany (€27,800). However, it is higher than Northern Ireland (€27,200).

When we consider the cost of living in the Republic, or reassess the figures for “purchasing power parity”, GDP per capita shrinks by 11 per cent across the State.

 

Residents of inner London have the highest average earnings across the EU, with a GDP per capita of €209,900 per person – or 626 per cent of the EU average when adjusted for purchasing power – based on total GDP of €245 billion.

This contrasts sharply with east and northeast London, which has a GDP per person of just €24,200, and southern Scotland, where it is as low as €21,600.

Luxembourg is next, with a GDP per capita of at €92,600, which is equivalent to 253 per cent of the European purchasing power average, The lowest GDP per capita is in the northwest region of Bulgaria, which has GDP per person of just €4,600, or just 31 per cent of the price-adjusted EU average.