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New study shows poverty numbers rising in Ireland even though poverty line is falling

The number of people at risk of poverty in Ireland has grown from 14.1% in 2009 to 15.8% in 2010 according to the latest Survey on Income and Living Condidtions (SILC) conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The final results of the survey were published in March 2012.  This increase occurred despite the fact that the poverty lne fell by more than 10% in that single year.  Social Justice Ireland will, as usual, publish a detailed Policy Briefing on Poverty and Income Distribution in the coming months.

Main findng of SILC study

  • Average annual equivalised disposable income (i.e. household income adjusted for household composition) in 2010 was €22,168, a drop of 5.0% on the 2009 figure of €23,326.
  • There was an increase in income inequality between 2009 and 2010 as shown by the quintile share ratio. The ratio showed that the average income of those in the highest income quintile was 5.5 times that of those in the lowest income quintile. The ratio was 4.3 one year earlier. See table 1b (Chapter 1).
  • The at risk of poverty threshold decreased by more than 10% from €12,064 in 2009 to €10,831 in 2010, following a decrease of 3.1% in the threshold between 2008 and 2009.
  • Although there was a decrease in the at risk of poverty threshold of more than 10%, the at risk of poverty rate at state level rose from 14.1% in 2009 to 15.8% in 2010.
  • In 2010 the deprivation rate (those experiencing two of more types of enforced deprivation) was almost 23% compared with just over 17% in 2009. This increase was largely attributable to an increase in the deprivation rate, of those NOT at risk of poverty, from 13.7% in 2009 to 19.3% in 2010 while there was no significant change in the deprivation rate for those at risk of poverty.
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  • The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland is a household survey covering a broad range of issues in relation to income and living conditions. It is the official source of data on household and individual income and also provides a number of key national poverty indicators, such as the at risk of poverty rate, the consistent poverty rate and rates of enforced deprivation. SILC was conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the first time in 2003 under EU legislation (Council regulation No. 1177/2003) and is currently being conducted on an annual basis. The survey is also carried out in other EU member states allowing comparable statistics to be compiled on a pan-European basis. Preliminary results for SILC 2010 were published by CSO in November 2011. This final detailed publication contains further tables and analysis of 2010 SILC data

The full text of SILC published March 2012 may be downloaded below

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PDF icon Full text of SILC Report387.28 KB