The latest release of the Pobal HP Deprivation Index provides valuable information about the varying levels of affluence and deprivation at local levels across the country . Based on the 2016 Census data, the Index was developed by Socio-Economic Consultants Trutz Haase and Jonathan Pratschke.
The Deprivation Index shows that the situation across Limerick City and County has improved since the previous Census, mirroring the trend at a regional and national level. However, the Index also shows that parts of the city have not experienced the same recovery. Communities such as St. Mary’s Park and O’Malley Park were revealed today as among the most disadvantaged in the country.
The Deprivation Index highlights the complex and multi-faceted nature of social exclusion. It is based on Census data such as population decline, age dependency, low educational attainment of the adult population, housing quality and unemployment. Communities such as St. Mary’s Park and O’Malley Park, which are predominantly comprised of local authority housing have all experienced population declines of between 40% and 60% over the past ten years. Census figures show that these communities also have higher than average cohorts of older people, in particular older people who left school early, lone parents with young children, and people who are long-term unemployed and with low skills.
Due to the economic recession, national and local social inclusion policies over the last 5 years have focused largely on employment activation. While this focus on activation is necessary, in itself it is not sufficient to address social inclusion. There must be equal focus on addressing issues such historical patterns of low educational participation, health inequalities, mental health, poor housing, limited social networks, ageing populations, and family, parental and early years supports. Policy must also address the issue of poor quality or insecure jobs. Furthermore, it is equally important that social policy builds the capacity of communities to have voice in the development of policies that affect them.
Chair of PAUL Partnership, Mr Ger Crowley, said that the release of the Deprivation Index is a timely reminder that local communities can continue to experience significant socio-economic disadvantage in a time of economic recovery and lower unemployment rates nationally and that PAUL Partnership will continue to work with local communities, statutory agencies and local and national government to ensure that social inclusion policy and programmes are holistic, community-led, and have a long-term focus.
The Pobal HP Deprivation Index is one of several sources for accessing local area Census data. The following links are very useful tools for accessing local Census data and maps.
For more information about accessing local Census data, contact:
Helen Fitzgerald, Co-ordinator – Research, Monitoring and Communications.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 061 419388