Mid-West Region, Ireland

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The Mid-West Region (coded IE051[1]) is a NUTS Level III statistical region of Ireland. The region comprises the territory of Limerick city and the counties of Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. It spans 10,511 km², 14.95% of the total area of the state and had a 2016 population of 473,269.[2]

Prior to 2014, the region was governed by the Mid-West Regional Assembly. Statutory instrument No. 573/2014 abolished that assembly.[3][4] Since that date, the association between Regional Assemblies and NUTS regions has ceased. The NUTS regions are used for statistical reporting to Eurostat, while the Regional Assemblies are responsible for planning at a local government level.

Former Regional Assembly[edit]

The Mid-West Region was administered by the Mid-West Regional Authority, which consisted of 26 elected representatives from the region's councils. These representatives met once a month. The councils were:

North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary County Council were unified into a single local authority for the county on 1 June 2014. The previous NUTS classification that was released in 2013, and remained in place until the end of 2016, had Tipperary divided for statistical purposes into two different NUTS 3 regions. Amendments to the NUTS 3 boundaries on 21 November 2016 saw what was formerly South Tipperary moved from the South-East region to the Mid-West region. [5]

Shannon Development was a development body for the Shannon Region of the lower River Shannon, which encompassed the entire Mid-West Region together with North Kerry (in the South-West Region) and South Offaly (in the Midlands Region).

Demographics[edit]

The Mid-West region has a population of 473,269 which constitutes about 9.94% of Ireland's total population.[6]

The population density of the region is 45.02 persons/square km. Limerick city is the largest urban area in the region with a population of 94,192 people within the larger urban area including the city suburbs.[7]

Economy[edit]

The economy of the region is based mainly around the greater Limerick/Shannon corridor. The Shannon Free Zone, Shannon Airport, Shannon Estuary Ports, National Technology Park Limerick and major educational institutions such as the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology are major drivers of the regional economy with growth prospects in Biotechnology and medical technology, ICT, aerospace, tourism agribusiness and logistics.[8] The Dublin/Limerick corridor and the western corridor linking Galway/Ennis/Limerick/Cork is of strategic importance to the region.[8]

According to CSO figures for 2014, the region has a GDP of €12.116 bn and a GDP per capita of €31,792.[9]

[10] Eurostat figures for 2012, the region has GDP of €11.468 bn and a GDP per capita of €30,300

The 2016 unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Ireland at 6% (the same as that of Dublin). .[11]

The workforce in the region was 160,400 in 2003 which was an employment rate of 96.7% of which 61.8% were employed in services, 29.8% in Industry and 8.3% employed in agriculture.[8]

Agriculture remains a major part of the Mid West economy. The Clare Marts in Ennis is a major trading post of livestock nationally. The plains of East Limerick are part of Ireland's Golden Vale that stretch from Limerick city into County Tipperary

According to the CSO, the mid-west in 2016 had the lowest value of land sold in Ireland of €16.5 million. Also, the Mid-West region had the lowest volume of land in Ireland of 2,898 acres which could in turn reduce income coming into this region.[12]

Transport[edit]

Shannon Airport is the only airport in the region with a wide range of flights available to Britain, continental Europe and transatlantic flights to the United States. The M7 is a high quality motorway connecting Dublin and Limerick. The N18/M18 including the Limerick Tunnel provides a complete bypass of Limerick and improved access to Shannon, Ennis and Galway. The N/M20 road/motorway provides access to Cork and Kerry.

Urban areas[edit]

A list of the largest urban areas in the Mid-West Region. County capitals are shown in bold.

Rank Town County Population
(2016 census)
1 Limerick Limerick 94,192
2 Ennis Clare 25,276
3 Clonmel Tipperary 17,140
4 Shannon Clare 9,729
5 Nenagh Tipperary 8,968
6 Thurles Tipperary 7,940
7 Newcastle West Limerick 6,619
8 Roscrea Tipperary 5,446
9 Tipperary Tipperary 4,979
10 Cashel Tipperary 4,422

References[edit]