Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring today launched the 2016 Pobal HP Deprivation Index which outlines areas of relative affluence or disadvantage across Ireland.

Commissioned by Pobal and completed by Trutz Haase and Jonathan Pratschke, the latest index is based on data from the 2016 Census.

Key findings from the 2016 Pobal HP Deprivation –


  • Affluence is highest in the urban peripheries and gradually declines one moves towards rural locations.
  • Dublin has fared the best over the past 10 years, being less impacted by the effects of the recession, as well as disproportionately benefitting from the recent years of recovery.
  • Small towns (1,000 – 5,000 people) have been the worst effected over the past ten years, being disproportionately hit by the recession and benefitting less from the recovery than the most urban and the most rural areas.
  • Analysis of the index points towards the importance of proximity and access to urban centres as being of greatest importance for rural areas.
  • In relative terms, the geographic distribution of disadvantage and affluence remains largely the same. Reinforcing the findings of previous research, that disadvantage is a long term, geographically entrenched phenomenon.

Speaking at the launch Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., said “The publication of the new updated Pobal HP Deprivation Index takes account of the significant changes experienced throughout the country since 2011. The Taoiseach established the Department of Rural and Community Development in response to the impact of the recession on rural Ireland and to ensure the recovery reaches every part of Ireland. The index provides further proof of the need for the investments my Department is providing to our rural communities and to our towns and villages.

The index has enabled us to more effectively target resources and services at the most disadvantaged and is a vital tool for so many Government Departments, including my own, as well as many State Agencies. For example, my Department’s RAPID Programme ,which I launched last week, relies on the Pobal HP Deprivation Index to identify the socio-economically deprived communities which the Programme aims to support.”

The index is a key resource to enable a targeted approach towards tackling disadvantage, by providing local analysis of the most disadvantaged areas throughout the state. It also allows us to look at national trends in relation to real levels of affluence and disadvantage experienced and how this changes over time and geographically. I want to commend Trutz Haase and Jonathan Pratschke for their extensive work on the Index, which will serve as an extremely valuable evidence based planning resource for Government over the coming years in the targeting and allocation of resources and services.
Chair of Pobal, Seamus Boland

The Index, which is available on Pobal Maps (, a free online Geographical Information System map viewer, outlines the deprivation score for various geographic units such as county, constituency, electoral division or small area. Percentage data for the area is provided under a range of categories such as unemployment, educational attainment and population change. The data can also be extracted for further analysis through the geoprofiling viewer, and compared between the 2006, 2011 and 2016 censuses.