| 2.8°C Dublin

Disposable income tops national average in just two counties

THERE are only two counties where disposable income is higher than the national average.

Dublin and its neighbour Kildare are bucking the trend, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The figures show that average disposable income sank 8.1pc to €21,356 in 2009, the latest year when figures were available.

People in the South East and the Mid East suffered the worst declines, with their income after tax and housing costs slumping by 9.5pc.

People in the west saw their incomes fall 6pc, which was the smallest decline that year.

Ireland's richest county is Dublin, where disposable incomes were 13.9pc higher than the national average at €24,316.

The Washington-based Brookings Institute calculated last week that Dubliners were the fourth-richest people in Europe and the 14th-richest in the world.

The poorest counties are Kerry, Donegal, Offaly and Monaghan, where average disposable income is less than 90pc of the national average.

The first three had more than 90pc below the national average every year in the past decade.

The CSO's definition of disposable income is any salary after tax and contributions, such as social insurance contributions.

The figures chart the extraordinary rise and fall of incomes across the State as the Celtic Tiger waxed and waned.

Dubliners saw their income soar from €16,045 at the turn of the century to a high of €26,414 in 2008 before beginning to fall again in 2009.

The border region, which has the lowest average income, has seen income jump from €12,275 back in 2000 to €19,345 in 2009.

After Dublin, the wealthiest region in Ireland is the Mid East, which includes Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, followed by the Mid West, which includes Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary.

Next up is the South West, which includes Cork and Kerry, followed by the West (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) and then the South East (Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford), the Midlands (Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath) and, finally, the border region of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo.

Irish Independent