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living conditions

Almost 27 per cent of us have experienced two or more types of deprivation

Disposable income, poverty rates and income drops were all looked at in the survey.

THE RATE OF poverty has only changed slightly, but more than a quarter of the population has experienced more than one type of deprivation.

That’s according to the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) survey on income and living conditions.

Average income

The CSO found that in 2012, the median annual disposable income was €17,702. This was a decline of 2.5 per cent on €18,148 in 2011.

In 2012, the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate was 16.5 per cent, compared to 16.0 per cent in 2011.

Almost 27 per cent of the population experienced two or more types of enforced deprivation in 2012, which was up from 24.5 per cent in 2011.

The consistent poverty rate was 7.7 per cent, compared to 6.9 per cent in 2011.

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, said that the new data “reveals the continuing impact of the economic crisis on household income and living standards in 2012″.

She said that the report demonstrates “the critical importance” of “social transfers – such as jobseeker payments, Child Benefit and pensions – being instrumental in protecting people against poverty”.

These social transfers reduce the at-risk-of poverty rate from 50.3 per cent (before all social transfers) to 16.5 per cent after all social transfers.


The figures show that people with a third-level degree or higher continued to have the highest median income of all categories analysed in 2012, at €29,596.

Disposable income for males was €18,039 in 2012, 2.7 per cent higher than the corresponding figure for females (€17,561).

However, males suffered a greater percentage drop in their income (6.1 per cent) than females (2.4 per cent) compared to the previous year.

In 2012, weekly gross income was €518.60, down from €534.58 in 2011 and €554.28 in 2010.

Weekly tax and social insurance contributions have increased every year since 2009 (€104.36) and stood at €118.91 in 2012.


The survey also shows that those most at risk of poverty in 2012 were those living in households where there was no one at work (36.6 per cent) and unemployed persons (34.7 per cent).

People living in accommodation that was rented at below the market rate or rent free had the highest deprivation rate in 2012, at 50.7 per cent.

People living in households with one adult and one or more children under 18 (49.5 per cent) and those who were unemployed (49.4 per cent) also had high levels of deprivation in 2012.

The CSO showed that the consistent poverty rate is highest among people who were unemployed (19.2 per cent) and people not working due to illness or disability (17.6 per cent).

People who were at work had the lowest consistent poverty rate, at 1.9 per cent.


Robin Hanan, Director of the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland said that these figures “confirm what our members are telling us from their experience on the ground”.

While the report shows that social transfers are playing a big role in reducing poverty levels, it is important to protect these and for Government not to continue to chip away at supports for the most vulnerable people on the lowest incomes.

Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said that the figures represent an indictment of the austerity policies pursued since 2009.

He said the figures should spur the Government to change course in the next Budget and to combine an investment-led strategy with a reversal of recent cuts.

Read: Number of homeless on streets of Dublin rises 25 per cent>

Read: Irish children are dying from neglect and abuse>

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