Study highlights extremes of rich and poor in Kildare

A NEW study has revealed that Kildare is one of the worst recession-hit counties in the country.

A NEW study has revealed that Kildare is one of the worst recession-hit counties in the country.

The study revealed large swathes of very affluent parts of Kildare, but also significant deprivation. And only one county has witnessed a greater increase in unemployment rates.

The All-Island Deprivation Index has been developed in conjunction with academics in NUI Maynooth.

The survey shows that Kildare does not have the extremes of either wealth or poverty that are seen in other parts of the country.

The most affluent areas – seen in blue on the map – are the areas stretching from Prosperous towards Downings, Caragh, Longtown and Landenstown.

Firmont and Millicent are considered ‘Very Affluent’, as is Straffan/Arclough and a section of the Naas hinterland that stretches from Mullacash, Carnalsway and Two Mile House.

The Curragh side of Kilcullen and the triangle including Baltinglass and Dunlavin are also very aflluent.

Less so, but still affluent (in green) are an area west of Castledermot, the general Leixlip, Celbridge, Maynooth and Kilcock areas, as well as a large swathe that stretches from the Curragh, south of Newbridge, Naas, Sallins, Kill and up into the hills around Kilteel.

At the other end of the scale, (in yellow and orange), there are pockets of disadvantage in the biggest mid and south Kildare towns, Naas, Newbridge, Kildare town and Athy, as well as smaller villages, especially to the north west of the county – Robertstown, Prosperous, Rathangan and Derrinturn.

Using information provided by the census and in particular by comparing the results of the 2006 and 2011 census, social and economic consultant Trutz Hasse was able to show how the fortunes of Kildare’s inhabitants have dropped.

Kildare is only behind Meath, Cavan and Roscommon in recording the greatest drop in affluence since 2006.

Analysts say that areas with the greatest sudden growth also saw the greatest sudden corresponding drop.

The study does not measure income, wealth or value of property – rather, as listed below, it focuses on skilled professionals, the education levels attained and employment levels amongst other things.

Between 2006 and 2011, the population grew by 24,000 or 12.9% in Kildare and there was an 8.3% increase in people over the age of 64 and under the age of 15, regarded by statisticians as “age dependent”.

There was a 1.3 per cent decrease in the numbers of people with third level education, a 6.5 per cent increase in people categorised as Higher and Lower Professional Classes and a large decrease – 10.3 per cent – in the number of semi-skilled manual and unskilled manual workers.

Unemployment amongst males is 246.5 per cent and 117.5 per cent amongst females of what it was in 2006, the second highest and highest increases in the nation respectively.

- Conor McHugh