Households were €1,000 worse off last year when inflation was taken into account – despite a rise in the median annual household disposable income – according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The CSO said the median annual household disposable income increased by over €500 last year to €47,000 compared to the previous year.
But when inflation was taken into account the CSO says households were actually €1,000 worse off with a disposable income of €46,076.
The CSO’s Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), published today, shows 13.1% of people were at risk of poverty last year – an increase of 1.5% on 2021.
The CSO said those most at risk of poverty last year were individuals who were unable to work due to long-standing health problems (35.2%) and those who were unemployed (35.6%).
This compares with 5.8% for those that described themselves as employed.
The level of poverty for older people increased last year.
The figures show that the largest year-on-year change in the at-risk-of-poverty rate was in persons aged 65 or over, going from 11.9% in 2021 to 19.0% in 2022.
5.3% of people were living in consistent poverty last year, an increase of 1.3% on the previous year.
The CSO said the risk of poverty, deprivation and consistent poverty tends to be correlated with employment status, being highest among the unemployed and those with long standing health problems.
It said if Covid-19 income supports were excluded, the at-risk-of-poverty rate would have been 20.5%.
The “at-risk-of-poverty rate” is the share of persons whose income is less than 60% of the national median.
The survey also found that the total income of the richest 20% was four times that of the poorest 20%.
Social Justice Ireland says 671,183 people in Ireland are living in poverty, of which 188,602 are children.
It says 143,633 older people are living in poverty, an increase of over 55,000 since 2021.
Dr Seán Healy, Director, Social Justice Ireland, said: “These CSO figures give us the first insight into the impact of rising energy costs and inflation on poverty in Ireland with inflation eroding any gains in household income.
“Today’s figures are very concerning and point to the long term economic and social impact of the cost of living crisis on households who were already struggling.”