AREAS in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown are among the most affluent in the country according to new maps designed to measure the relative level of prosperity of every region in Ireland.
The newly commissioned maps are now available online (www.trutzhaase.eu) for the public to view. They contain a colour coded index, officially known as the Pobal HP Deprivation Index, and are based on the 2011 census findings.
Economic consultants Trutz Haase and Jonathan Pratschke were commissioned to create the maps by State agency Pobal ahead of the introduction of the property tax.
Trutz Haase has developed an index that shows the extent to which every neighbourhood in the country rates in terms of wealth. The index goes from red, meaning extremely disadvantaged, to dark blue, indicating extremely affluent, and also works on a numbered scale within each region.  For example, the most affluent region in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown is Coundon Court/Killiney Avenue which scored 686 out of 686 in the county.
Trutz Haase, who has been working on the affluence index for the last two decades, spoke to the Gazette about the relevance of the research.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and my main client is Pobal which is the organisation that oversees local development companies.  In the 1990s, areas were designated to receive special funding and this is the key to this research, to allocate resources for development programmes and for those living in an area to understand where to focus their work.
“Local authorities can then designate disadvantaged areas in need of funding, access to sevices like one-stop shops to alleviate deprivation.  Yet, over the years, very little has changed as far as the areas go: Ballymun is still Ballymun and Foxrock is still Foxrock, so the needs in the areas remain effectively the same as those who improve their situations move on to more affluent areas.”
South East Dublin suburbs are still among the most affluent, with levels of unemployment the lowest, levels of education among residents the highest, and less than 1% of housing owned by the council; whereas the most socially deprived areas in Dublin are identified by the research as being areas such as Ballymun, Finglas and parts of Tallaght.
When asked if the Revenue would utilise the index, Bernie Furlong of Pobal said that the Affluence Index can now be used by any government department or individual private sector concern for a variety of purposes, as it was designed as a tool with broad applicability.