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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Quality of Life

Which county has the lowest disposable income per person?

New CSO figures also indicate that 15 per cent of all accommodation was vacant in 2011.

NEW FIGURES RELEASED by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on the quality of life in Ireland today have pinpointed Donegal as the county with the lowest disposable income per person at just €16,106.

Dublin comes up on top, with people living in the capital city having the highest disposable income per person at €21,515 as well as the highest rate of employment. Kildare and Limerick also had higher levels of disposable income while Offaly and Monaghan had some of the lowest.

The only county to rank above the national average in terms of disposable income was Dublin with Donegal ranking 17 per cent below the average.

(Fig: Disposable income/CSO)

Over three-quarters of workers in Ireland are employed in the services sector and the midlands and south-east had the highest percentages of workers in the industry sector.

The social class ‘professional workers’ was most prominent in Dún Laoighre-Rathdown while Monaghan, at 4 per cent, had the lowest proportion. Over a third of people in Monaghan were classed as skilled or semi-skilled, compared to just 14 per cent in Dún Laoighre-Rathdown.


The population of Ireland increased by 8.2 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The midland region had the largest increase of 12.2 per cent and the mid-west region had the smallest percentage increase.

In 2011, the Dublin region had by far the highest population density at 1,378 persons per square kilometre.

One in eight residents of Ireland in 2011 were not Irish, according to the census. Close to one in six residents of Dublin are not Irish compared with less than 10 per cent of residents of the mid-west and south-east regions.

Figures also show approximately one in five people in Galway City were not Irish in 2011 compared to 8 per cent in Donegal.

Vacant housing

In 2011, 15 per cent of all accommodation in Ireland was vacant. The border and west regions had the highest vacancy rates with more than one in five dwellings vacant, and counties along the west coast and Wexford also had rates above 20 per cent.

Counties Leitrim and Donegal had the highest vacancy rates and South Dublin had the lowest with just one in 20 dwellings vacant.

(Fig: Vacant Housing/CSO)

Over a third of dwellings in the Midland and Mid-East regions were built between 2001 and 2011 compared to a rate of 22 per cent in Dublin. Detached houses accounted for 12 per cent of all dwellings in Dublin while elsewhere the rate ranged from 46 per cent in the mid-east to 65 per cent in the west.

Dublin also had the highest new and second-hand average property prices in 2011 at €290,669 and €330,894 respectively while Waterford recorded the lowest prices.


In 2005-2007, life expectancies at birth and at age 65 were similar for men and women across all the regions. At birth women could expect to live about 5 years longer than men on average, while at age 65 they could expect to live around three years longer than men.

In 2011, the mid-east region had a total period fertility rate of 2.3 while Dublin, at 1.9, was well below the national average.

Six out of ten persons in 2011 perceived their health to be “very good”, varying from 58 per cent in the west to 64 per cent in the mid-east

Nearly four out of ten people in the Border region have a medical card and no private health insurance compared with less than a quarter in Dublin.  In 2010, 6 per cent of those aged 18 and over had both private health insurance and a medical card.

Three out of ten people had a medical card only while just over four out of ten had private health insurance only.


About three out of ten people in Ireland had a third level qualification in 2011, varying from 23 per cent in the midland region to 36 per cent in Dublin. Nationally, 22 per cent of people finished their full-time education at 15-17 years of age.

The smallest average primary school class size of 21.5 was in Roscommon while Fingal, at 26.5, had the largest.

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