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Total household debt now twice €92bn yearly income


Picture posed. Thinkstock

Picture posed. Thinkstock

Picture posed. Thinkstock

THE debts owed by households are now twice the annual incomes going into all homes.

The total income of households in 2010 was €92bn, but this was swamped by debts of €185bn, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The debt mountain works out at €108,313 per household, with average gross income working out at €53,864 per household, calculations based on the figures show.

Average debt per adult in the State works out at €54,456.

Finance experts said those in their 30s and 40s were likely to have high levels of debt, while older people are less likely to have debts and instead more likely to have savings.

However, all households have been attempting to pay down their debts during the downturn. This has meant that overall debts of households has dropped from €198bn in 2009 to €185bn last year.

The CSO said household income had jumped by 60pc from 2002 to 2008. Over the same time period household debt almost trebled.

Declines in household income are evident from the figures.

The average household had an in income of €60,000 in 2008, but this fell to €56,000 in 2009, and then to €53,864 last year.

This is consistent with the onset of the global downturn which started to impact hard on consumers from 2008 on. Job losses and pay cuts have eaten into incomes. The figures take no account of rising income taxes in the last four austerity budgets.

The figures also show that savings levels fell last year to €12.2bn, with 13.4pc of gross household income being saved, down from 14.7pc in 2009.

1.7million households

Some €10bn was been paid off on debts last year. This meant the average debt per household fell by €8,000, compared with the previous year. There are 1.7 million households in the State, the CSO confirmed.

"A major use of household savings in 2010 was the repayment of loans or deleveraging, amounting to almost €10bn," the CSO said.

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Back in 2002 the average household had debts of €42,000.

The CSO said gross capital formation of households -- an indicator of how much people are investing in property -- fell from a high of €23bn in 2007 to €5bn last year.

Statisticians said that the savings ratio, which measures how much is being saved as well as taking in how much is paid off on debt, has now jumped to 13.4pc.

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