The disposable income per person as a percentage deviation from the state average is shown in Figure 1.1. Viewing disposable income on a per capita basis as displayed in Figure 1.1 and Map 1.1 allow us to make more direct comparisons between regions of different sizes and populations than comparing total figures, like those shown in Figure 1.2. It is also worth noting, county calculations for disposable income are estimates and involve a certain degree of uncertainty, however, despite the uncertainty disposable income per capita allow us to visualise discrepancies in income between regions and counties.
Dublin City and County is the only region where disposable income per person is significantly above the state average as seen in Figure 1.1. Dublin has the largest disposable income amounting to €27,686 per person, income has risen to 18% above average and has increased for the third consecutive year. Disposable income in Limerick is estimated at €26,248 per person, next highest after Dublin. The Mid-West is the only other region where income per person is above the state average at 0.4%, usually income in the Mid-West is on a par with the state average, as shown for 2018 and 2019. While income in the South-West has dropped by -1.4%, the region has remained on a par with the state average of €23,471.
The Midlands region continues to be the poorest in terms of disposable income, income in the region accounts for €5.8 billion overall and is 18.7% below the state average per person. Despite this, the Midlands have seen an 10.6% increase in average income per person to €17,243 from 2019. The Midland, Border and West regions also record per capita income significantly below the state average. Since 2004, the Border, West and Midland NUTS2 regions have never reported a per capita disposable income greater than the state average. On the other hand, Dublin’s per capita income has consistently remained significantly above the state average over the same period.
The index of disposable income per person by county is shown in Map 1.1, the monetary value are given in Table 5.1. The county with the lowest disposable income per capita was Donegal with an index of 78.1 (€18,322 per person), followed by Longford with an index of 79.9 (€18,754 per person) and Laois with an index of 80.3 (€18,842 per person). After Dublin, Limerick is the second wealthiest county with an index of 111.9 (€26,248 per person); ahead of Cork (index: 101.7, income: €23,856 per person). Income in Kildare is closest to the state average with an index of 100.4 (€23,554 per person). While the figures involve a degree of uncertainty, the gap between the lowest and highest county income per capita has widened considerably and is now at €9,364, a 10% percentage change from a figure of €8,505 in 2019.
As seen in Figure 1.2, total disposable income in the Dublin NUTS 3 region (Dublin City and County) is the highest in the state and has risen for the fourth consecutive year to €39 billion. Dublin is followed by the South-West NUTS 3 region – comprising of Counties Cork and Kerry – accounting for €16.7 billion in disposable income. Disposable income generated in Cork represents 81% of the South-West’s total or 36% of the Southern region’s total at NUTS 2 level. The Mid-East region ranks third largest in terms of disposable income and has recorded a figure of €16.4 billion in 2020 due in large part to counties Kildare (€5.5 billion) and Meath (€4.5 billion). Incomes in the Mid-East region have been steadily increasing since 2012 and have risen by 5.1% again this year from 2019. The Midlands has the lowest total income in 2020 and has consistently remained the poorest region in the state, followed by the Border region. As observed in Figures 3.1 and 3.2, both regions have a lower concentration of industry and manufacturing and are reliant on the public sector to generate value and employment in the region.