Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Persons living alone and lone parent households most at risk of poverty

The first results from the new EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for 2003, indicate that almost 23% of the population were at risk of poverty. These persons are living in households where the income (on an equivalised basis) is less than 60% of the median at an individual level. Persons living alone (i.e. in single adult households) were most at risk with almost 45% below the 60% threshold, while adults and children living in lone parent households were also a high risk group at just over 42%.

When the risk of poverty is combined with an element of enforced deprivation the survey shows that over 9% of persons were ‘consistently poor’ (i.e. their income was below the 60% median income line and they lacked at least one of eight basic deprivation indicators). Almost 60% of those at risk of poverty did not report deprivation.

These figures are based on data collected in the 6-month period from June 2003 to December 2003.

The main results are summarised below:

EU-SILC 2003 

% of persons at risk of poverty

less than 50% of median income threshold 11.1%
less than 60% of median income threshold 22.7%
less than 70% of median income threshold 29.4%

 % of persons in consistent poverty

 less than 50% of median income threshold 5.9%
less than 60% of median income threshold 9.4%
less than 70% of median income threshold 11.6%


The ‘total gross annual household income’ averaged over all households was estimated to be just over €46,000 in 2003. This is equivalent to an average of €883 per week. Total disposable household income, which is net of income tax and social contributions, stood at almost €36,000 per annum or €688 per week. After adjusting the income figures for household size the ‘equivalised total disposable household income’ on an annual basis averaged across all persons was €17,800 or €341 per week.

For further information contact

 Kathryn Carty on 021 453 5302 or Noel Ryan on 021 453 5491

Fax 021 453 5492


Central Statistics Office

24 January 2005

– ENDS –