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Income

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The nominal median household disposable income in 2019 was €43,552, compared with the 2018 figure of €42,865.  See table 2.3c and figure 2.1.

Disposable household income is gross household income less total tax, social insurance contributions and inter-household transfers paid.  The phrase ‘nominal’ indicates that the figure has not been adjusted for inflation.  See SILC Fact Sheet (Pdf 444kb).

X-axis labelMedianMean
20043202738631
20053285640497
20063493143646
20073885347988
20084042949043
20093825545959
20103528043151
20113521641819
20123378541399
20133443642164
20143530543067
20153740144827
20163895346310
20173949948476
20184286551458
20194355253118

In 2019, households with three or more persons at work had the highest nominal median household disposable income (€95,613), compared with €24,173 for households with no one at work.

Owner-occupied households had a nominal median household disposable income of €47,373 in 2019, compared with €38,558 for rented households.

Households containing one adult aged 65 or over had the lowest nominal median household disposable income (€16,216), compared with €75,284 for ‘other households with children’, i.e. households composed of two adults with four or more children; or three or more adults with children.  See figure 2.2.

X-axis label2019
1 adult aged 65
years and over
16216
1 adult aged
less than
65 years
24059
2 adults, at
least 1 aged
65 years and
over
37461
2 adults,
both aged less
than 65 years
50809
3 or more adults71125
1 adult, with
children under
18 years
30293
2 adults, with
1-3 children
under 18 years
58646
Other
households
with children
under 18 years
75284

Household disposable income increases as the highest level of education attained by the head of household increases.  Where the head of household had an educational attainment of primary level or below the nominal median household disposable income was €26,527, compared with €66,811 for those with a third level degree or above.

Households in the Eastern and Midlands region had a nominal median household disposable income of €48,824, compared with €41,612 in the Southern region, and €35,946 in the Northern and Western region.  

Using a base year of 2012 to adjust for inflation, the real median household disposable income in 2019 was €42,524, compared with the 2018 figure of €42,183.  See table 2.3a.

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Equivalised income allows for a more meaningful comparison of income across households by accounting for the number of adults and children living in the household and thus allowing analysis at an individualised level.  See At Risk of Poverty Indicators Explained (Pdf 717kb).

The nominal median equivalised disposable income in 2019 was €23,979 and the nominal at risk of poverty threshold stood at €14,387, i.e. 60% of the median.  The real value, i.e. at 2012 prices, of the at risk of poverty threshold for 2019 was €14,047 and this represents an increase of 4.0% on the real value for 2018 of €13,505.  Individuals with a highest level of educational attainment of third level degree or higher continued to have the highest nominal median equivalised disposable income of the categories analysed in 2019, at €35,452.  This compares with €16,817 for those with primary level education or lower.

Persons living in households with no one at work had the lowest nominal median equivalised disposable income in 2019, at €15,889, compared with €31,076 for those living in households with three or more persons at work.  See table 2.3g.

By age group, persons aged 65 or over continued to have the lowest nominal median equivalised disposable income (€20,369), followed by children aged 0-17 (€22,455) and persons aged 18-64 (€25,513).  See figure 2.3.

X-axis label0 - 17 years18 - 64 years65 years and over
2004148761777210857
2005151501862711860
2006160081956713062
2007179452144714565
2008194362227215822
2009182682142316330
2010170111995516359
2011170461954415905
2012171641893615612
2013170721886016714
2014173561906416451
2015183902036717772
2016191912138018088
2017196122222318198
2018212282415619647
2019224552551320369

Nominal median equivalised disposable income for males was €24,065 in 2019, the corresponding figure for females was €23,867. 

Individuals living in the Eastern and Midlands region had a nominal median equivalised disposable income (€26,263), which was 28.1% higher than those living in the Northern and Western region (€20,499) and 13.9% higher than those living in the Southern region (€23,048).   

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In 2019, nominal mean weekly equivalised gross income was €711.73, an increase of 3.7% on the 2018 figure of €686.22.

Gross income is the sum of total direct income such as employee and self-employed income, as well as social transfers including occupational pensions. An analysis of the composition of nominal gross income by year shows mean weekly equivalised direct income in 2019 at €568.79, an increase of 2.4% on the 2018 figure (€555.34).  The mean weekly equivalised social transfers (which includes occupational pensions and the local authority contribution to rent (HAP)) increased to €142.94 in 2019 from €130.88 in 2018, an increase of 9.2%.  See table 2.4a and figure 2.4.

X-axis labelTotal direct incomeTotal social transfers
2004379.481.51
2005389.1489.11
2006419.8594.48
2007454.03110.77
2008454.94123.26
2009410.88140.51
2010386.74147.92
2011381.21141.65
2012376.33138.63
2013396.7138.31
2014416.54133.36
2015439.88133.5
2016461.15133.15
2017498.45127.84
2018555.34130.88
2019568.79142.94

Disposable income is gross income less total tax, social insurance contributions and inter-household transfers paid.  Mean nominal weekly equivalised disposable income showed an increase of 4.4% from €512.96 in 2018 to €535.48 in 2019.  Mean weekly equivalised tax and social insurance contributions stood at €176.25 in 2019, an increase of 1.7% from the 2018 value of €173.26.  See figure 2.5.

X-axis labelGross Income €Net Disposable Income €
2004460.91359.78
2005478.25378.85
2006514.32406.84
2007564.8452.47
2008578.2467.24
2009551.39447.03
2010534.66424.26
2011522.87410.88
2012514.96408.34
2013535.01415.03
2014549.9422.41
2015573.38440.47
2016594.3453.85
2017626.29478.79
2018686.22512.96
2019711.73535.48
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Looking at the composition of nominal weekly equivalised gross income by decile, both the net disposable income and amount paid in total tax and social contributions increases by decile. Persons in decile one had an average equivalised gross income of €225.29, compared with €1,944.19 for those in decile ten.  See figure 2.6.

X-axis labelTotal tax and social contributionsNet disposable income
1st decile12.25213.05
2nd decile14.98284.34
3rd decile34.96330.51
4th decile60.63374.7
5th decile79.79428.91
6th decile126.82491
7th decile168.79556.81
8th decile223.16641.76
9th decile362.88767.18
10th decile678.031266.16

Just under one in two of those describing their principal economic status as unemployed (46.7%) and those unable to work due to permanent illness or disability (49.3%) are in the first quintile, i.e. the lowest 20%, of the net disposable equivalised income distribution, compared with one in thirteen (7.4%) of those at work.  See figure 2.7.

Quintile 5Quintile 4Quintile 3Quintile 2Quintile 1
Unable to work due to permanent illness or disability3.5813.425.749.3
Retired from employment12.819.416.72426.9
Engaged on home duties7.110.817.428.236.6
Student9.820.221.521.227.2
Unemployed4.110.113.125.846.7
At work31.324.621.914.97.4
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Quintile Share Ratio

In 2019, the poorest 20% had 9.3% of the nation’s nominal equivalised disposable income, while the richest 20% had 38.0%.  See figure 2.8.

X-axis labelQuintile 5Quintile 4Quintile 3Quintile 2Quintile 1
20193822.417.213.29.3
201838.5322.4717.0213.188.79
201739.8722.6216.6912.568.26
201639.0122.7517.1212.788.34
201539.0722.9816.9812.78.27
20144022.8616.7112.647.79
201339.8522.8516.7212.597.99

The quintile share ratio is the ratio of the total equivalised disposable income received by the 20% of persons with the highest income (fifth quintile) to that received by the 20% of persons with the lowest income (first quintile).  In 2019 the quintile share ratio stood at 4.1, indicating that the total income of the richest 20% was over four times that of the poorest 20%.  The corresponding value for 2018 was 4.4, the change is not statistically significant.  See table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Income quintile share ratio, 2013-2019
 2013201420152016201720182019
Income quintile share ratio5.05.14.74.74.84.44.1

Gini Coefficient

The Gini coefficient measures income equality across the entire income distribution.  It is the ratio of the area between the line of perfect equality and the observed Lorenz curve to the area between the line of perfect equality and the line of perfect inequality.  A Gini coefficient value of zero denotes perfect equality, indicating that income is distributed equally amongst all households.  A Gini Coefficient of 1 would denote perfect inequality where all the income is held by one household.  See figure 2.9.

X-axis labelPerfect EqualityCumulative equivalised disposable incomeCumulative equivalised Direct income before Social transfers, Occupational and Private Pensions
0000
1100
2210
3310
4410
5520
6620
7730
8830
9940
101040
111150
121250
131360
141460
151570
161670
171780
181880
191990
2020100
2121101
2222111
2323111
2424121
2525132
2626132
2727142
2828143
2929153
3030163
3131164
3232174
3333185
3434195
3535196
3636207
3737217
3838218
3939228
4040239
41412410
42422410
43432511
44442612
45452713
46462813
47472814
48482915
49493016
50503117
51513218
52523319
53533420
54543421
55553522
56563623
57573724
58583825
59593926
60604027
61614128
62624229
63634330
64644432
65654533
66664634
67674735
68684836
69694937
70705139
71715240
72725342
73735443
74745544
75755646
76765847
77775949
78786050
79796152
80806353
81816455
82826557
83836758
84846860
85856962
86867164
87877266
88887467
89897669
90907771
91917973
92928076
93938278
94948480
95958683
96968886
97979088
98989392
99999796
100100100100

In 2019 the Gini coefficient was 28.8% compared with 29.7% in 2018.  This decrease is not statistically significant. The general downward trend since 2014 indicates a decrease in income inequality across the total income distribution.  Both the quintile share ratio and the Gini coefficient show a statistically significant decrease in income inequality between 2017 and 2019.  See figure 2.9.

Table 2.2 Gini coefficient, 2013-2019
 2013201420152016201720182019
Gini coefficient (%)31.832.130.830.731.529.728.8
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Show Table: Table 2.3a Median real household disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3b Mean real household disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3c Median nominal household disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3d Mean nominal household disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3e Median equivalised real disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3f Mean equivalised real disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3g Median equivalised nominal disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.3h Mean equivalised nominal disposable income by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 2.4a Composition of nominal household income and nominal equivalised income by year

Show Table: Table 2.4b Composition of real household income and real equivalised income by year

Show Table: Table 2.5a Nominal median income measures by year

Show Table: Table 2.5b Nominal mean income measures by year

Show Table: Table 2.6 Average weekly equivalised income by net disposable equivalised income deciles and composition of net equivalised disposable income, 2019

Show Table: Table 2.7 Average weekly household income by net disposable household income deciles and composition of net household disposable income, 2019

Show Table: Table 2.8 Demographic characteristics of individuals by net disposable equivalised income deciles, 2019

Statbank Tables are here

Go to next chapter >>>  Poverty and Deprivation