Poverty in Ireland

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Poverty in Ireland

"People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and other resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society."(Poverty as defined by the Irish government)


The government measures poverty in two ways: at risk of poverty and consistent poverty. Risk of poverty means having an income that is below 60% of the median income. In 2010, that was an income of below €207.57 a week for an adult. Consistent poverty means having an income below 60% of the median and also experiencing enforced deprivation. This means being on a low income and not being able to afford basic necessities such as new clothes, food such as meat or fish, not being able to heat your home, or having to go into debt to pay ordinary household bills. In 2009 the percent of the population in consistent poverty in Ireland was 5.5% or 233,192 people and the percent of population at risk of poverty was 14.1% or 579,819 people. This is with a median income of just over 12,000 euros each year.[1]


  • Over the period 2006/07 to 2008/09, 20% of the population of Northern Ireland were living in low-income households using the 60% threshold after deducting housing costs. This is equivalent to around 350,000 people.
  • Northern Ireland's 20% rate is somewhat lower than the 22% Great Britain average.The reason for this difference in ranking is that housing costs are much lower in Northern Ireland than in any of the Great Britain regions.
  • The proportion of people who are in low-income households is much higher for Catholics than for Protestants: 26% compared with 16%. [2]



  1. http://www.combatpoverty.ie/povertyinireland/whatispoverty.htm
  2. Palmer, Guy. "Numbers in Low Income." Northern Ireland. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. http://www.poverty.org.uk/i01/index.shtml?2
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