New Research on Market Income and its Distribution

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Micheál Collins

The latest NERI Research inBrief examines the underlying distribution of market income in the Republic of Ireland.

Market income captures the income received by employees as earnings, the profits of the self-employed and other ‘unearned’ income including rental income, private pension income, investment income and interest income. It is in effect the pre-distribution of income; that which arises before the redistributive mechanisms of taxation and welfare step in.

The key points from the analysis, which use the latest available data which is for 2013, are: 

  • The median (middle) market income was €23,701 while the mean was €32,042.
  • The distribution of market income is concentrated on incomes of less than €50,000 per annum – representing 80% of all earners.
  • 15% of all those with a market income, about 290,000 people, receive less than €5,000 (the average direct income for this group is €2,000 and most receive less than €1,000).
  • 50% of those with a market income receive between €5,000 and €35,000.
  • The top 10% of recipients have an income of more than €65,000.
  • The top 5% of recipients have an income of more than €85,000; this group approximates to the top 100,000 earners in the state.

 A full copy of the study is available here.

The inBrief complements a recent NERI Working paper which is available here: Collins, M.L. (2015), ‘Earnings and Low Pay in the Republic of Ireland: A Profile and Some Policy Issues’ NERI Working Paper, 2015/29. Dublin, NERI

Posted in: IncomeInequalityWages

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