The most deprived areas of Kilkenny are its rural towns with huge gaps in affluence also emerging in the city, according to the latest National Deprivation Index.
The index, which draws on 2016 Census data, identifies the most affluent and deprived locations, by small area, electoral division and county, across the country.
Areas are “scored” based on data from households including educational attainment, employment status, type of work done, the care burden and housing tenure.
The “national average” is set at 0, with scores ranging from -40 for the most disadvantaged to +40 for the most affluent.
Kilkenny county as a whole is marginally below average with a score of -0.33.
Large parts of Castlecomer are considered disadvantaged or very disadvantaged with some areas given scores of -20.21.
Parts of Ballyragget in north Kilkenny are “marginally above average” with a score of 0.51 while other parts are classed as “disadvantaged” with scores of -13.99.
Meanwhile in Freshford, parts of it are considered disadvantaged as well with some places getting a score of -10.20.
In Urlingford and Graignamanagh there are places that are “very disadvantaged” with ratings of around -24.
Parts of Callan are classed as “very disadvantaged” with -21.25 but then areas adjacent are considered “affluent” with a rating of 10.18.
Kilkenny City is a mix of “very disadvantaged” with scores around -21 to “very affluent” with one place getting a score of 20.80 and another getting 24.73.
This leaves a gap of around 40 points between certain parts of the city. It also shows the gap between the city's affluence and that of the more rural towns.
Outside of the city, other affluent areas include the Grange area.
Percentage data for the areas are given under the following categories: Population Change; Age Dependency Ratio; Single Parent Ratio; Primary Education Only; Third Level Education; Unemployment Rate (male and female) and Proportion living in Local Authority Rented Housing.
The index was published by Pobal which is a not-for-profit intermediary between Government and communities, helping to best direct State and EU resources to the most disadvantaged sectors.
This is the third such index published since the 2006 Census.
For more information on areas in Kilkenny, go to: https://maps.pobal.ie/WebApps/DeprivationIndices/index.html