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The Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) 2018 was published on 30 January 2020. Data within the publication were revised on 4th June 2020. These data revisions were due to the re-calibration of weights used in the estimation of HFCS statistics. Data within the publication were revised again on 16 May 2023. These data revisions were primarily due to the supplementing of survey data with the Central Credit Register, an administrative data source obtained by the CSO in 2021. All content relating to HFCS 2018, including the Electronic Publication text, graphs and tables, Infographic, Press Release and PxStat tables, now reflect the revised data.  Details as to the extent and impact of these revisions on previously published data can be found in the HFCS 2018 Revisions Information Note.

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Net Wealth Thresholds

Households with a wealth value greater than €756,000 belong to the wealthiest 10% of all households (the top net wealth decile). Households in the bottom 10% of the net wealth distribution have a net wealth value less than €100 (see Table 5.1).

Table 5.1 Net wealth decile threshold limits1
Net Wealth Decile1st 2nd 3rd 4th5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Net Wealth Threshold (€)<100<6,500<38,900<100,300<159,100<227,100<314,900<445,000<756,000>756,000
1 The data on this table was updated on 16/05/2023. Please see information note for details.

Total Net Wealth

Median gross and net household wealth values are €230,100 and €159,100 respectively. (see Table 5.2).

Net Wealth by Region

Household median net wealth is highest in the Eastern & Midlands region at €173,400, compared to €164,100 in the Southern region and €133,100 in the Northern & Western region (see Table 5.2).                                                        

Net Wealth by Tenure Status

Median net wealth for owner occupied households is €267,500, significantly higher than the €3,900 value for rented households (see Table 5.2).

Table 5.2 Gross and net wealth by demographic and household characteristics

Net Wealth by Household Composition

The median net wealth of households with one adult and children under 18 is €3,200, compared to €328,300 for two adult households where at least one adult is aged 65 or over. The difference between median gross and net wealth in households with a person aged 65 or over is relatively small. Households comprising two adults with one to three children under 18 have the largest difference between gross and net wealth in absolute and terms (see Figure 5.1 and Table 5.2).

Median Net WealthMedian Gross Wealth
2 adults, at least 1 aged 65+328.3334.9
3 or more adults259.4311.4
Other households with children aged under 18200.4305.8
1 adult aged 65+200.4201.3
2 adults, both aged <65128.4218.5
2 adults with 1-3 children aged under 18108.9269.3
1 adult aged <6544.199
1 adult with children aged under 183.28.9
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As wealth is typically accrued over life, it is not surprising that households with older household members are wealthier than younger households. The median net wealth of households where the reference person is 65 or older is €253,300 but where the reference person is younger than 35, this falls to €10,900 (see Table 5.2).

Almost seven out of every ten households (69.7%) where the reference person is 65 or older have a net wealth value greater than the national median value (i.e. they are in the top 50% of net wealth). This contrasts with households where the reference person is younger than 35 as just over one out of every ten (13.3%) are in the top 50% of net wealth households (see Figure 5.2).

Decile 10Decile 9Decile 8Decile 7Decile 6Decile 5Decile 4Decile 3Decile 2Decile 1
Under 351.622966566162972.155136976673081.738437349517313.40956347140354.384610128551435.0161097611396113.746745700365327.386642839597426.559427422117113.9803597844723
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One in ten (10.2%) households in the first decile said they had ever received a substantial gift or inheritance, compared to about 67% of households in the top decile.

Property and another substantial asset were received by 6.8% of households in the top decile, an additional 31.8% received property only and 28.0% received a substantial asset that was not property (e.g. money), (see Figure 5.3).

% of Households that received non-property only% of Households that received property and non-property% of Households that received property only
Decile 19.002767994737930.1006359354846971.06803393045966
Decile 28.9291714748813601.39193594143774
Decile 39.870570105282450.3730047691462552.58752948343389
Decile 415.30035666510670.39474031335879215.1860872509742
Decile 512.4253973170420.79075875488836718.9173557583424
Decile 612.66514065848580.42240718159493515.3815261348308
Decile 715.90521747317743.6184073829652514.1672880358228
Decile 825.16652756156881.227361579993813.1836634456233
Decile 929.48587381848023.3596922739485823.5400920002867
Decile 1028.01843726824396.771688268452431.8431208255027
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In 2018, 16.5% of households in the first net wealth decile were owner occupied, compared to almost 80% in 2013. This large change is due to the increase in residential property prices over this time and the consequent movement of people out of negative equity. In 2013, 31.9% of all HMRs owned with a mortgage were in negative equity, whereas the 2018 rate is 6.7%. In 2013, just over three in four (75.8%) households in the bottom wealth decile were in negative equity, compared to 12.0% in 2018 (see Figure 5.4).  

Please note that there is a break in time-series between the 2013 and 2018 rounds of the HFCS so data points between the two rounds are generally not comparable. Even so, the large variation in estimates between 2013 and 2018 in the above analysis in particular ensure that the conclusions made can be considered valid. 

2013 Net Wealth Decile2018 Net Wealth Decile
Decile 178.516.5
Decile 25.92.8
Decile 35.914.8
Decile 446.871.6
Decile 588.294.7
Decile 692.896.8
Decile 796.397.1
Decile 896.298.2
Decile 997.798.2
Decile 1097.297.3
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Figure 5.5 shows the distribution of households across the net wealth deciles by degree of urbanisation.  All else being equal, the three distributions would be the straight line (line of equal distribution) at 10%.

Households located in densely populated areas (see background notes for the definition) have the highest percentage of both wealthy and poor households (i.e. households in the top and bottom net wealth deciles). Intermediate populated areas have the lowest percentage (5.6%) of households in the top (wealthiest) decile and are over-represented in the bottom 50% of the net wealth distribution.  Thinly populated areas have the lowest percentage of households in the bottom three net wealth deciles (7.7%, 7.1% and 7.7% respectively) and are over-represented in the middle of the distribution.

X-axis labelDensely populated area Intermediate populated areaThinly populated areaLine of equal distribution
Decile 112.623690374931710.54025741715867.6942889867509910
Decile 211.06406736763714.19057257021457.1404909413441110
Decile 311.703098729426312.12924412140647.6888906612789310
Decile 48.1064089967750611.308019988420910.857735833000510
Decile 54.7346839699630710.62669603028313.972175088181110
Decile 65.351207529118739.7666185113331413.835530327303310
Decile 78.701236880630089.5267377237389811.272285517542310
Decile 812.59762118024829.407596279341428.1935135526860910
Decile 913.30977638089986.8899231407928.7830966746720310
Decile 1011.80820859037015.6143342173110410.561992417240710
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The average (mean) gross wealth for households in the bottom decile is just under €53,700 compared to €1,900,000 in the top decile. The HMR accounts for 27.0% of the total gross wealth held by households in the top decile. Households in the top decile also have relatively high wealth contributions from land (18.0%), other property (16.9%) and financial assets (19.7%). Looking at the combined contribution of the HMR and other real estate to total wealth, in the top decile the contribution is 43.9%, whereas in deciles four, five, six and seven it exceeds 80% (see Figure 5.6).

Financial assetsVehicles & ValuablesSelf employment businessLandOther real estateHousehold Main Residence
Decile 1019.72.216.21816.927
Decile 913.
Decile 810.
Decile 666.
Decile 56.860.80.64.881
Decile 318.