Comparisons of disposable income across all counties found the top rates in Dublin, with an average of €24,316, and the lowest in Donegal, where the average is €17,708.
That puts Dublin at €2,960 above the national average of €21,356 and Donegal at €3,648 below. Disposable income is calculated as all income left once tax has been deducted.
Border counties in general fare worst with the average among the six counties coming to €19,233 a year, followed by the Midlands at €19,345; the South-East at €19,833 and the West at €20,388. The South-West came in at €20,592; the Mid-West at €20,713; the Mid-East at €21,229 and Dublin, at €24,316.
The figures relate to 2009 and show disposable income fell by an average of €1,883 or 8.1% from 2008 with the greatest drop in the Mid-East and South-East where incomes decreased by 9.5% and the least pain felt in the West, where incomes fell by 6.1%.
However, disposable income had increased steadily each year throughout the preceding decade and the drop between 2008 and 2009 still left incomes substantially higher than in 2000 when the national average was €13,772.
Regional variations were a feature of income levels throughout the decade with the Dublin-Donegal divide being the most notable. In Dublin in the year 2000, average disposable income was €16,045 compared to €10,804 in Donegal — a gap of €5,241. In 2008, pockets in Donegal were €7,764 lighter than their Dublin counterparts.
The variations in income levels largely mirror the differences in employment levels across the country. In Dublin, Meath and Kildare, income from wages alone was higher than disposable income.
However, in counties like Mayo, Monaghan, Wexford, Leitrim, Carlow and Longford, income from wages alone made up less than 85% of disposable income.
Top 5 counties for disposable income:
* Kildare €21,877
* Limerick €21,230
* Cork €21,144
* Galway €21,071
Bottom 5 counties:
* Cavan €19,246
* Kerry €18,694
* Offaly €18,621
* Monaghan €18,011
* Donegal €17,708
* National average €21,356