You are here

New CSO data highlights differences between Urban and Rural Ireland

The CSO Report ‘Regional Quality of Life in Ireland, 2013’ highlights some of the differences in income distribution, employment, education and housing between urban and rural areas. 

The impact of sustained high levels of unemployment and subsequent high levels of emigration among young people in rural communities, low levels of disposable income and high levels of medical card holders cannot be overestimated. These developments have led to a loss of young people in rural communities, a disproportionate ageing population in rural areas and has led to skewed income distribution across the country.

Highlights from the report:

  • Dublin has the highest disposable income per person at €21,515.
  • Donegal has the lowest disposable income per person at €16,606
  • The Midlands and South-East had the highest percentages of workers in the Industry sector (23%).
  • The employment rate in 2012 was highest in Dublin at 62% and lowest in the Border region at 52%.
  • The South-East recorded the highest unemployment rate  at 19%.
  • Counties along the west coast and Wexford have more than one in five dwellings vacant while only 5% are vacant in South Dublin.
  • Half of dwellings in Longford have broadband access to the Internet compared with nearly three quarters of Dublin dwellings.
  • Nearly four out of ten people in the Border region have a medical card and no private health insurance compared with less than a quarter in Dublin

The results of this report have serious implications for the future of rural Ireland.  In order to improve the quality of life in rural areas and rural communities’ opportunities must be created so that the rural economy can develop much needed alternative enterprises. In order to do so an integrated rural transport system and the provision of quality broadband to rural communities must be a priority.

The CSO Report ‘Regional Quality of Life in Ireland, 2013’ may be accessed here.

Social Justice Ireland’s analysis of the challenges facing rural Ireland may be accessed here.