The Male Female income gap

Posted on May 14, 2015 by Micheál Collins

There are many measures examining differences in various socio-economic characteristics among men and women. In general, women are better educated, healthier, live longer but earn less – factors which in themselves point towards gaps in societal equality for both sexes.

Focusing just on income, it is possible to take the most comprehensive measure of incomes available for the Republic of Ireland – data on disposable income from the CSO’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC). Indicator 4.3a of the latest NERI Quarterly Economic Facts document presents the most recent data on this issue - for 2013. It measures the after pay, tax and transfers income of individuals; initially calculating this for households and then adjusting the income amounts to account for household size. The resulting figures provide income per individual.

In 2013 average disposable income for all individuals was €21,106 (€405 per week). In that year, the gap between male and female income was €429 (€8.25 per week) with average income figures for men and women of €21,323 and €20,894 respectively. As average figures can be skewed by high and low incomes, at either end of the distribution, median income (the income of the middle person in the distribution) are also of note. On average in 2013 median male income was €17,863 and median female income was €17,297. The gap between median male and female income was €566; 3.3% of the median female wage.

The data since 2004 shows a similar trend (see chart) with median male incomes consistently exceed female incomes by on average 5% per annum. Median incomes peaked in 2008 and have since declined by 15.45% on average (by 15.4% for males and 14.4% for females) reflecting decreases in earnings, reduced welfare payments and increases in income taxation levels.

Full details in indicator 4.3a of the latest edition of the NERI's Quarterly Economic Facts available here.

Posted in: GenderIncomeInequalityWages

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