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Weekly income for elderly people drops 6 per cent - CSO

The average weekly income fell to €403.23 in 2010 compared with €428.86 the previous year.

Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE AVERAGE WEEKLY income for an elderly person dropped has dropped by 6 per cent from the peak amount in 2009, figures released by the Central Statistics Office show.

The newly published data shows that, in 2010, the average weekly income fell to €403.23  from €428.86 on the previous year. The drop marked an end to the steady upward trend in the income of the elderly observed between 2004 and 2009.

The average weekly income for an elderly person (aged over 65) in 2004 was €289.05.

The data shows that over the years average income increased, the proportion of income coming from earnings decreased (from 24.1 per cent in 2004, to 18.3 per cent in 2009 and 12.7 per cent in 2010) while the proportion of income coming from social transfers increased (from 56.8 per cent in 2004 to 63.4 per cent in 2010).

The at risk of poverty rate for the elderly remained unchanged between 2009 and 2010, at 9.6 per cent: that rate represented a significant decline from 27.1 per cent in 2004.

Meanwhile, the level of enforced deprivation among the elderly was 9.3 per cent in 2010, which marked no significant change from 2009 or 2004. The data showed that, in general, elderly people tend to experience lower levels of enforced deprivation than other groups in society.

The consistent poverty rate for the elderly was just under 1.0 per cent in 2010 – relatively unchanged from the rate in 2009 was just over 1.0 per. However, it was significantly higher in 2004 at 3.9 per cent.

Composition

In 2010 nearly 55 per cent of the elderly people surveyed were female; just over 7 per cent described their Principal Economic Status as being ‘at work’ and just under 7 per cent said their highest educational attainment was a third-level degree or above.

Nearly 56 per cent described their marital status as married; almost 88 per cent owned their own home; more than one third of the
elderly lived alone while almost 55 per cent lived in an urban area in 2010.

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In 2010, almost 56 per cent of the elderly said they suffered from a chronic illness while almost 7 per cent of them said they had
bad or very bad health. Just over 43 per cent said that they were covered by private medical insurance.

Changes

In 2004 more than two-thirds (66.4 per cent) had a highest level of educational attainment of ‘primary or below’which fell to just over 53 per cent in 2010.

The proportion of the elderly that described their marital status as ‘married’ increased from 46.7 per cent in 2004 to 55.6 per cent
in 2010.

Meanwhile, 33.5 per cent of the elderly had private medical insurance in 2004 compared with just under 41 per cent in 2009, and more than 43 per cent in 2010.

Read: More seniors embracing technology – and the mobile phone>

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