Households in Malahide enjoy highest incomes in State

Social welfare makes up more than half of income in a quarter of households, CSO says

Households in Malahide, Co Dublin, enjoy the highest median incomes of any towns with a population of 10,000 or more in the State, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has found.

Its report on the geographical spread of income showed the median gross income for households – the midpoint in the range of incomes earned in Ireland – was €45,256 in 2016. By local authority area, it ranged from €32,259 in Donegal to €66,203 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

Social welfare payments made up more than half of income in 13.7 per cent of households, while the State pension formed the majority of income in 12.9 per cent of households. This means that in 26.6 per cent of households in the State, social welfare made up more than half of their income.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the lowest proportion of households where the majority of gross income came from social welfare at 5.8 per cent. Meath had the next lowest proportion at 10.3 per cent, followed by Fingal at 10.5 per cent.


In contrast, 20.4 per cent of households in Longford, 20.2 per cent in Donegal and 18.6 per cent in Carlow relied on social welfare for the majority of their income.


In terms of gender, men had higher incomes than women across selected occupations. The CSO pointed out that that this comparison was not adjusted for hours worked, which accounted for some of the difference in incomes.

The largest gender difference was for financial managers and directors, where the median earned income for women of €60,126 was about two-thirds the male median of €94,500.

Primary and nursery education teaching professions had the smallest gender difference, with a median earned income of €43,654 for women which was 97 per cent of the male median of €44,976.

Overall, nearly two-thirds (62.6 per cent) of Irish households had a gross income of less than €60,000. Only 14.1 per cent had an income above €100,000.

Households in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median income at €66,203, followed by Fingal (€58,795) and Kildare (€54,472). Households with the lowest incomes were in Donegal (€32,259), Leitrim (€34,800) and Longford (€34,892).

Households in Malahide had the highest median income (€78,631) of all 41 towns in Ireland with a population of 10,000 or more, (excluding the cities and suburbs of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford). Celbridge had the second highest at €64,877.

The towns with the lowest medians were Longford (€29,224), Enniscorthy (€31,049) and Ballina (€32,779).

Nine of the 10 highest median incomes were in Leinster. Carrigaline had the highest median for Munster at €59,353, Castlebar had the highest in Connacht at €37,271 and Letterkenny had the highest in Ulster at €35,818.

The highest median earned income was for the information and communications technology sector, as well as scientific and recreation sector, at €37,037, while the lowest median was for the agricultural, forestry and fishing sectors at €22,113.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter