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Appendix 1: Data Sources

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This release aims to provide insight into social and economic characteristics of individuals living across a range of six geographical urban/rural defined areas, defined by population density and access to services and amenities. 

This six-way experimental categorisation of urban and rural were applied to these CSO statistics:

  • Censuses of 2011 and 2016
  • EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2017
  • Labour Force Survey Q1 2018 – Q1 2019
  • Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland 2019 
  • New Dwelling Completions 2011 – 2018
  • Residential Property Prices 2010 - 2018
  • Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland 2016

This new six-way urban/rural categorisation was also applied to the integration of CSO datasets with pseudonymised datasets from a range of administrative data sources, to produce aggregated outputs at a geographical level which were not previously available. These administrative data sources were from:

  • Revenue
  • Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
  • HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service
  • Residential Tenancies Board Register 
  • Student Universal Support Ireland

The integration and analysis was undertaken by the CSO for statistical purposes in line with the Statistics Act, 1993 and the CSO Data Protocol

Before using personal administrative data for data linking purposes, the CSO removes all identifying personal information including the PPSN. The Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) is a unique number that enables individuals to access social welfare benefits, personal taxation and other public services in Ireland. The CSO removes the PPSN and creates a pseudonymised Protected Identifier Key (PIK). The PIK is a unique and non-identifiable number which is internal to the CSO. Using the PIK enables the CSO to link and analyse data for statistical purposes, while protecting the security and confidentiality of the individual data. All records in the matched datasets are pseudonymised and the results are in the form of statistical aggregates which do not identify any individuals.


Further details on data sources:

2011 and 2016 census data

The Census datasets contain information collected in the 2011 and 2016 censuses. They contain census attribute information for individuals and households, including guests.

Census of Population Analysis (COPA)

The COPA is a pseudonymised copy of the Census of Population 2016 dataset held internally within the CSO for analysis purposes. It contains Census attribute information for individuals and households, excluding persons records registered as guests. Approximately 5% of Census records could not be assigned a PIK and were excluded from the analysis.

Person Income Register (PIR) 

The PIR is a pseudonymised income register held internally within the CSO. It contains information on income received by individuals relating to employment, self-employment and social transfers. It is derived from administrative holdings held by the Revenue Commissioners and Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Therefore, the PIR provides a near complete picture on individual level income, for a calendar year.  All linkage is carried out by using a PIK assigned on each contributing data source. The PIK is then used to link the pseudonymised data sources together in order to create the PIR. The PIK protects a person’s identity but also enables linking across data sources and over time. The PIK enables high quality deterministic matching thus significantly reducing/eliminating linkage error.

Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS)

PCRS is responsible for making payments to healthcare professionals – doctors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists/ophthalmologists – for the free or reduced costs services they provide to the public across a range of community health schemes. The schemes form the infrastructure through which the HSE delivers a significant proportion of Primary Care to the public. PCRS also manages the National Medical Card Unit (NMCU) which was established in 2011 to process all Medical Card and GP Visit Card applications at a national level.

Residential Tenancies Board Register (RTB)

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) register contains information on all tenancies registered by landlords, both private and Approved Housing Bodies (AHB).

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)

Student Universal Support Ireland contains funding information for all higher and further education grants. SUSI offers funding to eligible students in approved full-time, third-level education. 

The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC)

Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland is a household survey covering a broad range of issues in relation to income and living conditions.  It is the official source of data on household and individual income and also provides a number of key national poverty indicators, such as the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate, the consistent poverty rate and rates of enforced deprivation.

Labour force survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) replaced the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) from Q3 2017. Similar to the QNHS, it is a large-scale, nationwide survey of households in Ireland. It is designed to produce quarterly labour force estimates that include the official measure of employment and unemployment in the state (International Labour Organisation classification).

New Dwelling Completions

The principal data source for the New Dwellings Completions (NDC) is the ESB domestic connections dataset where the date that the connection is energised determines the date of completion. 

Residential Property Price Index

The CSO 'Residential Property Price Index' is compiled from a variety of data sources. The principal data source is stamp duty returns made to the Revenue Commissioners. All transfers of ownership of residential properties in the State must be referred to the Revenue Commissioners for stamp duty assessment under the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act (SDCA) 1999. The data collected includes the address of the property and the sales price.

These data are matched by the CSO to Building Energy Rating (BER) data, compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Under Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 243 of 2012, all residential property for sale must disclose their BER assessment (with some very minor exceptions). The BER data includes the property address, the total floor area (m2) and the dwelling type (apartment, detached house, semi-detached house, etc.). The BER data are matched to the stamp duty data using an address matching algorithm (or Eircodes, where available on both datasets).

The stamp duty returns are also matched by the CSO to the GeoDirectory (again using an address matching algorithm or Eircodes). The GeoDirectory provides the Small Area code of the property, which is used to link the property to the Haase-Pobal (HP) deprivation index. The HP deprivation index measures the relative social advantage (or disadvantage) of each Small Area and serves as a useful locational characteristic in the RPPI price model.

Only stamp duty returns where a satisfactory match is made to both a BER and the GeoDirectory (currently 75% of all returns) are used in the compilation of the RPPI.

Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland 2016

The CSO publication Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland 2016 examines income in Ireland by county and by Electoral Division. Income is also examined across the areas of housing, health, education, occupation and commuting.

Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland 2019

The new CSO publication Measuring Distance to Everyday Services in Ireland provides insight into how close or far away dwellings are located from everyday facilities.  By using the official road network from Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) to calculate the shortest path distance between points of origin (e.g. homes) and destination (i.e. selected public services e.g. public bus stop, bank, Garda station etc.) a thorough examination of people's proximity to everyday services can be derived.