Fifty miles and €3,500 per head in spending power. That, it appears, is the difference between Westmeath and Dublin.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office last week showed that there’s a gap of €3,493 per person in the disposable income between people living in Westmeath, and our city cousins.
The disposable income per person in Westmeath in 2011 was just €17,856. The state average is €19,055 while in Dublin, the figure is €21,329.
The gap between the maximum and minimum value of disposable income per person per region increased from €2,896 in 2010 to €4,345 in 2011, with Dublin incomes increasing by €632 while those of the lowest region (Midland in 2010 becoming Border in 2011), decreasing by €817.
Westmeath residents’ disposable income fell between 2010 and 2011, having been at the level of €18,386 per person in 2010.
The disposable income per person in Westmeath peaked in 2008 at €20,534, and has fallen year on year since then.
Back in 2003, in relative terms, the gap between Westmeath’s disposable income and the state average was at its lowest, when Westmeath’s income was 97.6 per cent of the stage average.
That gap widened to its greatest extent in 2007, when the average disposable income here was just 89.7 per cent of the national average. By 2010, that gap had narrowed again, but the 2011 figure shows Westmeath incomes at just 93.7 per cent of the state average.
The CSO explains that adding social transfers to primary income and subtracting off income taxes and social insurance contributions, results in disposable income.
Also provided in the release from the CSO, is detail of the estimated total income per person, and again, at €21,889, Westmeath’s falls far short of the national average, which is €23,980, while Dublin heads the table at €28,129 a jump of around €1,500 in just twelve months, compared to a fall of €500 in Westmeath during the same period.