How Much Do Irish Entertainers Actually Earn?

It’s well known that economic prosperity is not evenly distributed across land. Internationally we have developed countries and developing countries and even within these countries we have areas which are more developed than others. Any Irish person will be well aware of this in the case of Dublin. There are more people, jobs, services, and facilities in Dublin than the rest of the country, as is the case with nearly all capital cities around the world. Now in fairness to the Dubs for the pleasure of those amenities they are also subject to higher rents and prices than the rest of the country.

But thinking about this gave me the idea to go check how income varied between Dublin and other Irish regions. Luckily enough, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Ireland  have some data on earnings of different occupational groups in different areas of the country. I decided to look at this data in relation to entertainers which is an occupational group the CSO defines as including actors, entertainers, presenters, dancers and musicians. The data pertains to the year 2016 and can be seen below.

2016 Regional Income Variation Entertainers

It appears the income of entertainers in the capital city of Ireland is, as in nearly every other profession, higher than the rest of the country. This makes sense in that Ireland’s national broadcasting organisation, RTE, has it’s main offices located in Dublin. In addition to this there are more venues for performances in Dublin (and more people to entertain) so it seems reasonable entertainers in Dublin city would make more than in other places around the country.

What’s interesting is that if Ireland’s 1st city is the highest, one would expect the 2nd and 3rd city may follow accordingly, but the second highest is actually Ireland’s 7th largest city, Waterford. Limerick, which is only Ireland’s 4th largest city is then 3rd before Ireland’s 2nd city Cork. Then it appears Galway, Ireland’s 5th largest city is in last, below the rural county of Donegal. My guess to explain this is that as entertainment is an uncommon occupation, there may be large variations in income due to inconsistent infrastructure/employment. And if we compare the earnings of entertainers to the income of finance workers we can see this may be the case.

2016 Regional Income Variation Finance and Entertainers

The income of finance and investment workers (in red) seems to follow an ascendancy which is more typical of what we would expect to see based on the size of the region. For example, Dublin City is 1st and then followed by Cork City, Galway City, Waterford City, Limerick, and then Donegal. The reason for this higher level of consistency is probably that careers in finance and investment in Ireland are probably a lot more common than careers in entertainment and as a result there is more consistent concentrations of infrastructure in the more developed areas. If you are interested in keeping up with more analysis of the Irish music industry, please give Music Economics a like on Facebook.

By Daragh O’Leary


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