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Poverty in Ireland
Facts about Poverty
What is poverty?
How many people are poor in Ireland today?
Who is poor in Ireland today?
Measuring Poverty
Statistics on Poverty
Information for Students
Information for Teachers



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How many people are poor?

Poverty in Ireland is measured by the Central Statistics Office. Two measurements, consistent poverty and at risk of poverty are used - see below for an explanation of these terms. The most recent data on poverty in Ireland is from the 2009 EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC):

Poverty in Ireland 2009
Consistent Poverty 5.5% 233,192 people*
At Risk of Poverty 14.1% 579,819 people*
Poverty Threshold
(60% of median income)
€12,064 per adult per annum


*based on Census 2006 Population Figures

At Risk of Poverty

This is also known as relative poverty or income poverty . It means having an income that is below 60% of the median income (the median is the mid-point on the scale of incomes in Ireland). In 2009, that was an income of below €231.20 a week for an adult.

Consistent Poverty

This 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, not having the money to buy food such as meat or fish, or not being able to heat your home.

More Information

Full report on the 2009 EU Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC): Open in PDF format

Measuring Poverty explains the different ways of calculating poverty rates.

Who is poor in Ireland today? shows how different social groups are affected by poverty

Detailed information on the EU-SILC survey is available on the CSO website.


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