Monday 24 October 2016

Revealed: The county that generates the most revenue in the State

We are less likely to live alone and have a booming birth rate, an EU study comparing how we live, work and play relative to our nearest neighbours shows, writes Paul Melia

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Cork leads the way in terms of productivity. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg
Cork leads the way in terms of productivity. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Dublin may be the driver of the economy, but Cork workers generate more revenue per person than their counterparts in the capital.

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A new study shows workers in the Rebel County generate almost €105,000 per person every year, higher than the €96,000 produced by Dublin workers and even higher than that produced by high fliers in the City of London.

Click to view full size graphic
Click to view full size graphic

The reason is the presence of IT giants such as Apple and international pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer.

"Although Dublin recorded the second highest level of GDP per person employed among EU capitals, just behind London, there was one metropolitan region in Ireland with a higher level of productivity, namely Cork, which is home to, among others, a number of pharmaceutical and information technology multinationals," the 'Urban Europe: Statistics on Cities, Towns and Suburbs 2016' report says.

A fascinating snapshot of how we live our lives, the report from statistical agency Eurostat shows that despite our similarities, we lead very different lives to our European neighbours.

We are less likely to live alone and we pay more to live in our capital city. We are predominantly a rural country, and in general terms, we are happy.

And while those living in rural areas tend to be more satisfied with their lives than those in cities, 93pc of people in Dublin said they were satisfied to live there. This compares with a high of 98pc in Vilnius in Lithuania, and a low of 71pc in Athens.

The report is based on a range of quality of life and attitudinal surveys and statistical analysis. Walter Radermacher, director-general of Eurostat, said that urban areas were now home to three-quarters of the EU's population, and that the report would help promote new ideas for urban development, and help tackle challenges around poverty, crime, congestion and pollution.


Just 1.3pc of our landmass is urban, among the lowest levels in the EU. This compares with 44pc of the Netherlands. But almost one in three workers lives in an urban area, and the most densely populated part of the country is the electoral division of Rotunda A, in Dublin's north inner city, where 19,509 people share one square kilometre.

Only in Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovakia is the cost of housing more expensive in rural areas than in the cities. This is not based on the prices commanded for properties, but on the proportion of household income spent on housing.

The study looked at the cost of living in capital cities relative to Brussels and Dublin is ranked as fifth most expensive, ahead of Paris. London is classed as the most expensive.

And while homes in rural Ireland tend to be bigger than those in the cities, at just over 80 square metres, they are far smaller than the Luxembourg and Cyprus average of 150 square metres.

Dublin also has the highest proportion of houses in its housing stock of any city, at more than 60pc. Paris has less than 1pc - 99pc of all homes in the French capital are flats or apartments. Waterford has more than 80pc of its total stock tied up in houses. This is only beaten by Doncaster in the UK.

The highest number of renters is in Germany at 47.5pc; between 30pc and 40pc of people rent their homes here.

And we don't like living alone. Just under 50pc of Germans are in one-person homes, compared with less than 25pc here, the lowest rate across the EU. More people live alone in rural Ireland than in Dublin. Rathmines and Pembroke in Dublin have the highest proportion of single-person households, in part due to a high number of smaller properties and high student population. More than 80pc of people say it is hard to find good quality housing at a reasonable price.


Some 42.7pc of all employment in the state is in Dublin. It accounts for €85bn in GDP, or 49pc of the national total.

Workers tend to earn marginally more in cities, followed by rural areas and then towns and suburbs. More women than men in the workforce have a third-level qualification.

Some 60pc of people working in Limerick commute into the city, the highest rate of any urban area in Ireland. More than 250,000 commute into Dublin city every day.


Less than one in 10 people say they live in an area with problems related to pollution, grime or other environmental issues. This compares with 36pc in Greece, and 32pc in Germany. More than seven in every 10 said they were satisfied by the level of recreational spaces provided.

But less than half of all people living in Dublin believe their city is committed to fighting climate change. This compares with 82pc in Bordeaux, in France.

Less than 40pc of people in Dublin are satisfied with healthcare services, and 80pc are happy with schools and educational provision. Between 60pc and 80pc agreed that most people in their city could be trusted - this fell to lower levels in Athens, Sofia and Istanbul, among others.


Among EU cities, Dublin, Lille in France, Brussels and London have the lowest share of elderly residents. Nationally, Waterford has the highest proportion of young people. Cork has the highest proportion of older people.

Dublin has the highest birth rate of any capital city at 18 births per 1,000 population. This compares with an EU average of 10.4.

Dublin is also among the top capital cities with a high number of foreign-born residents, around 21pc of the total population.

In Galway, it's 26pc and 17pc in Waterford.

More than half of all people in Dublin believe the foreign-born community is good for the city, a high rate.

Almost 10pc of young people living in towns and suburbs leave school early, compared with 5pc in cities.

Men are more likely to leave than women.

Conversely, more women than men aged 15-34 living in cities are not working, in training or in education.

More than 14pc of people in Dublin agreed they had difficulty paying their bills at the end of the month. This compares with 36pc in Heraklion in Greece, the capital of Crete.


More Irish residents stay in hotels than tourists, which is also commonplace across Sweden, Germany, Romania, Poland, France and Norway.

Cork people are among the highest cinema-goers in the EU, making 10.7 trips each per year. They are only beaten by Luxembourg at 11.8.

Dublin is also considered to be a "cultural capital" with just under five museum trips per year per resident.

Irish Independent

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