Irish Now the World's Second Richest Citizens

12 July 2006

Economic tiger nations, prostrate yourselve when entering into the presence of an Irish citizen! In terms of global per capita wealth, the Republic of Ireland ranks second only to Japan.

A decade of soaring economic growth and property values has created 30,000 millionaires in a geographically small nation once synonymous with deprivation.

At €148,000 ($188,714; £102,451) the average annual income of the Irish now tops all but the industrious inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun.

According to a Bank of Ireland study, the globe's top eight nations in terms of net wealth per head are:

  1. Japan €205,675
  2. Ireland €148,130
  3. UK €137,277
  4. USA €128,810
  5. Italy €125,512
  6. France €103,476
  7. Germany €90,462
  8. Canada €85,147
The bank predicts that the stimulus of a higher birth rate and immigration will keep the Irish economic pot nicely on the boil, with total household net worth almost doubling by 2015 to €1.2 trillion.

Many of the nation's 4,062,235 predominantly Catholic citizenry might these days more closely identify with the character Undershaft in George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara, who declares: "I am a millionaire. That is my religion."

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff