A presentation on poverty measurement in Ireland was made by Brian Nolan, University College Dublin, at the Second Peter Townsend Memorial Conference, Measuring Poverty: The State of the Art, in 2011.

In 1987 and 1997, large-scale surveys were conducted that asked respondents whether they thought each of a list of items was a necessity, i.e. ‘things that every household or person should be able to have and that nobody should have to do without’. The respondents were also asked whether these items or activities were available to household members and, if not, whether this was because of a lack of resources. The 1987 Survey of Poverty, Income Distribution had a survey sample size of 3,294 households and the 1997 data set comprised 2,945 households. The table below compares 1987 with 1997, giving percentages of those lacking each item, those lacking the item because they can’t afford it and those perceiving the item to be a necessity.




Source: Richard Layte, Brian Nolan and Christopher T. Whelan (1999) Targeting Poverty: Lessons from Monitoring Ireland’s National Anti-Poverty Strategy.