Donegal has lowest household income in the country

Donegal has lowest household income in the country

Households in Donegal have the lowest incomes in the country, new figures show.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the median household income in 2016 was €32,259. The next lowest incomes were in Leitrim (€34,800) and Longford (€34,892).

The report, Geographical Profiles of Income in Ireland 2016, showed households in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median income in 2016 at €66,203, followed by Fingal (€58,795) and Kildare (€54,472).

Nearly two thirds (62.6%) of Irish households had a gross income of less than €60,000 in 2016. In contrast, only 14.1% had an income above €100,000.

Income is examined across the areas of housing, health, education, occupation and commuting.

Social welfare payments to people of working age made up more than half of the income in 13.7% of households while the state pension formed the majority of income in 12.9%. This gave a total of 26.6% of households where social welfare made up more than half of household income in Ireland in 2016.

Levels of income are impacted by many factors such as gender, general health, level of education and the type of work you do. The findings of this report show that beyond these factors place of work has a substantial impact on income.

Commenting on the report, Lianora Bermingham, Statistician, said: “The report shows that the median gross income for households was €45,256 in 2016 and ranged from €32,259 in Donegal to €66,203 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

"The report includes analysis of rent affordability based on the incomes of tenants and their rents as reported to the Residential Tenancies Board. This 'rent burden' varies from 16.2%-44.7% at Electoral Division level on this basis.

"The highest median earned income in 2016 was for the ICT, Scientific & Recreation sectors at €37,037 and about four euro in every ten earned by residents of Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal came from the Public Service, Education and Health sector.”

Commenting further on the report, Kieran Culhane, Senior Statistician, said: “This report is an example of the policy-relevant research projects that the CSO are developing as part of its leadership role of the Irish Statistical System. Our goal is to maximise the variety and volume of data available to provide high quality information to the Government, businesses and citizens.

Under the auspices of the Statistics Act 1993, the CSO is in a unique position to gather and link administrative data sources and evaluate their potential for statistical use. This project involved the integration of datasets held by Revenue and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with CSO held datasets to produce aggregated analysis and outputs at a detailed geographical level not previously available.

A detailed geographical breakdown of household income provides policymakers with information on households earning low to moderate annual incomes by area. This information is required to allow the development of polices relating to affordable housing, provision of public health services and access to education. Further breakdown of income by occupation and geography allows for analysis of regional economic growth potential. Our aim is to ensure that citizens can live in an informed society while at the same time ensuring adherence to relevant data protection legislation. In using the increasingly varied sources of data available, the CSO must ensure that we continue to protect and secure data.

In this regard, the CSO treats all data with strict confidentiality and never discloses any data that could subsequently be associated with any person or business. We have compiled these new statistics using anonymised records and will only produce statistical results at an aggregate level.”

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.