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Executive Summary

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This report, Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland 2016, examines income for both households and individuals by county and by Electoral Division. Income is also examined across the areas of housing, health, education, occupation and commuting. 

The primary definition of income used throughout this report is Gross Income. This includes income from employment, self-employment, pensions, rental property, social welfare and further education grants, see Background and Methodology for further information.

The median gross income for households was €45,256 in 2016 and ranged from €32,259 in Donegal to €66,203 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. 

Social welfare payments to people of working age made up more than half of the income in 13.7% of households while the state pension formed the majority of income in 12.9%. This gave a total of 26.6% of households where social welfare made up more than half of household income in Ireland in 2016.

Levels of income are impacted by many factors such as gender, general health, level of education and the type of work you do. The findings of this report show that beyond these factors place of work has a substantial impact on income.

This report is an example of the policy-relevant research projects the CSO are developing as part of the CSO’s leadership role of the Irish Statistical System. Our goal is to maximise the variety and volume of data available to provide high quality information to the Government, businesses and citizens.

High quality statistics are the foundation of evidence-based decision-making and the basis for accountability. They help people to understand the changes taking place in Ireland’s economy and in our society.

Under the auspices of the Statistics Act 1993[1] and in compliance with all relevant data protection legislation, the CSO is in a unique position to gather and link administrative data sources held by Government Departments and Agencies and evaluate their potential for statistical use.

This project involved the integration of datasets held by Revenue and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with CSO held datasets to produce aggregated analysis and outputs at a detailed geographical level not previously available.

A detailed geographical breakdown of household income provides policymakers with information on households earning low to moderate annual incomes by area. This information is required to support policy development relating to affordable housing, provision of public health services and access to education. Breakdowns of income by occupation and geography allow for analysis of regional economic growth potential.

The National Data Infrastructure (NDI) plays an integral part in facilitating the CSO to develop new and improved statistical products for the benefit of the citizen and policymaker. The core concept of the NDI involves the collection, maintenance and storage, on all public sector data holdings, of the associated PPSN, Eircode and Unique Business Identifier (UBI, to be developed) whenever they are relevant to Public Sector Body transactions with customers. This supports the development of targeted policy interventions. What is needed to achieve this, in most cases, is collection of the PPSN and home Eircode in transactions with people and the UBI and business Eircode in transactions with businesses.

In using the increasingly varied sources of data available, the CSO must ensure that we continue to protect and secure data. Our aim is to ensure that citizens can live in an informed society while at the same time ensuring adherence to all relevant data protection legislation.





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