Economic Profile of Dublin


  • The population of the Greater Dublin Area, a region comprising Dublin and the counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, is estimated to be 2.02 million, or 40.5% of the total population, as of April 2021. 
  • The population of Dublin as of April 2021 is estimated to be 1.43 million persons, 28.5% of the total population.
  • The population of the Greater Dublin Area is set to grow to 2.2 million by 2031.
  • The population of Dublin is set to grow to 1.8 million by 2036.
  • The average age of the population of the Greater Dublin Area is 35.67, according to the 2016 census.
  • Almost two-thirds of Ireland’s population now live in urban areas, up nearly 5% since 2011, figures based on the Census of April 2016. 44% of Ireland’s urban population lives in Dublin. The average population density in urban areas was 2,008 persons per km2 compared to 27 persons per km2 in rural areas.
  • The population density of the State increased to 70 persons per km2 in 2016, up from 67 persons in 2011 and 62 persons per km2 recorded in 2006. The more densely populated areas are predominantly located within the Greater Dublin Area.
  • In 2020, 63.65% of Ireland's total population lived in urban areas and cities.
  • According to the 2016 census Dublin is home to nearly 200,000 non-Irish nationals, more than live in any other part of the country. 22% of those employed in Dublin are non-Irish nationals.
  • There are 479,683 private households in Dublin with 34.8% being semi-detached houses.
  • In Q2 2020 67.7% of all apartments completed were in Dublin. This figure rose slightly to 68.3% of all apartments completed in Q2 2021.

Economic Activity, Taxation and Employment

  • Economic activity in Dublin plus the mid-east accounts for 50% of Ireland’s GVA according to the most recent available data (2019).
  • Dublin represents 40.76% (€135,683m) of the State’s total GVA, according to the most recent available data (2019).
  • The Greater Dublin Area generates 59% (11379.48m) of Ireland’s personal income tax revenue (19,052m), while Dublin alone generates 52% (10,077.37m) (2019).
  • The Greater Dublin Area generates 65% (7130m) of Ireland’s corporate tax revenue (10,887m), while Dublin alone generates 61% (6,694.55m) (2019).
  • Irish average disposable income per person is highest in Dublin. At €24,969 it is 17.4% higher than the state average of €21,270.
  • In Q1 2021, over 710,000 people were employed in Dublin, in comparison to 628,000 in 2016. 61% of those employed in Dublin work in private sector services.
  • Dublin has 30% of the country’s working population.
  • 62% of those employed in Dublin have attained a third level education in comparison to the 49% regional average.
  • In Q4 2020, at least 50% of persons employed in the ICT and financial sectors were located in Dublin. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

  • Dublin is home to:
    • The top 5 global software companies; 
    • 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies.
    • Half of the world’s top 50 banks;
    • 250 global financial institutions;
    • 12 of the world’s top 20 insurance companies;
    • 18 of the world’s top 25 med tech companies.
    • The top 4 global aviation lessors.
  • A 2016 survey by Indeed found that employees in Ireland are the fourth happiest in the world, while employees in Dublin are the happiest in Europe.
  • Dublin was ranked as Europe’s 3rd most attractive city for FDI by the Financial Times 2020/2021, ranking 3rd in Europe for business-friendliness and 4th for economic potential.
  • The Dublin Region was placed 2nd in the fDi Northern European Region of the Future.
  • Seven of the top ten companies on Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies have Dublin operations.
  • The Institute for Management Development (IMD) ranked Ireland as the 4th most competitive country in the euro area and the 13th most competitive economy in the world 2021.
  • In 2017, Bank of America Merrill Lynch became the first major UK-based entity to select Dublin as its new base for EU operations. JP Morgan has announced plans to hire a significant number of people in Dublin. Barclays has also opened new offices in Dublin to extend its Irish and pan-European activities.
  • The importance of Dublin as a location for sustainable finance is signalled by Dublin’s involvement in FC4S (the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability), the city’s selection as its European base, and appointments at strategic levels in this area to the network.
  • Ireland’s connectivity with China and the entire Asian region has further deepened with the establishment of several Chinese financial services institutions, with Ireland’s membership of the Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank, and with the introduction of direct air links from Dublin to Hong Kong (via Cathay Pacific) and to Beijing and Shenzhen (via Hainan Airlines).

Tourism and Transport

  • Dublin attracted over 6.6 million overseas visitors in 2019. 
  • Dublin had the highest hotel occupancy rate among European cities in 2018 (83.8%).
  • Nine of the top twenty most popular tourist attractions in Ireland are in Dublin. The Guinness Storehouse topped the list with 1.7m visitors; in third place was Dublin Zoo with 1.3m visitors; and the Book of Kells attracted just over 1m visitors. 
  • 138 million passenger journeys were made with DublinBus in 2019.
  • 48 million passenger journeys were made using the Luas in 2019, marking a 12.5% increase on 2018.
  • In 2019 Dublin Port Ferry passenger volumes increased by +6.7% to 1,949,000. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles increased by 9.9% to 560,000. Dublin Port’s cruise business grew again, with 158 cruise ship arrivals (compared to 150 in 2018) and growth of +16.7% in visitor numbers.
  • Dublin Port accounted for 59.3% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and 47.8% of the total tonnage of goods handled in 2018.

Education and Talent

  • Dublin has 126,817 students aged 15 and over. 
  • In Dublin, over three in five persons (62%) aged 25-64 years old had a third level qualification as of 2020, compared to but just four in ten (40%) in the Midlands.
  • Dublin is home to four universities, three institutes of technology, three national educational institutions, ten associated colleges and colleges of education, and at least a dozen private and independent colleges.

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