Friday, June 21, 2019

Ireland's 2018 standard of living per capita below EU28 average

While Ireland had a GDP (gross domestic product) per capita at 87% above the EU28 average in 2018, a proxy for material standard of living per capita was again below the EU28 average and that of Italy despite the latter's long period of economic stagnation.

Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, this week published data on GDP per capita and Actual Individual Consumption (AIC). It showed that Ireland was 6% below the EU28 average while Germany's per capita consumption was 29% above Ireland's. 

Ten member states recorded AIC per capita above the EU average in 2018. The highest level in the EU was recorded in Luxembourg, 32% above the EU average. Germany was around 20% above, followed by Austria, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Sweden and France, which all recorded levels between around 5% and 15% above the EU average.

Italy was 2% below the average and Spain was 10% below.

AIC per capita is a metric that is an alternative indicator better adapted to describe the material welfare of households. Eurostat says it tracks individual consumption including consumer goods and services purchased by households, in addition to services provided by non-profit institutions and general government for individual consumption, for example, health and education services.

The biggest variations between GDP per capita and AIC in EU advanced countries are in the corporate tax havens — the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg (the GDP per capita is also distorted by the fact that over 40% of the Duchy's workforce live beyond its borders). EFTA countries Switzerland and Norway also have big differences.

Price level indices for AIC are headed by Luxembourg at 142, Denmark 138 and Ireland at 129 compared with the EU28 average of 100. The price differences are adjusted using Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs).

In 2007 the UK's AIC was at 134; Ireland was at 114 and Spain at 100 — the EU average. Germany was at 112. 

Eurostat report

Irish median income at 13th in Europe, UK at 14th rank