Mid-West Region, Ireland

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The Mid-West region of Ireland with each constituent county council highlighted.

The Mid-West Region (coded IE051)[1] is a NUTS Level III statistical region of Ireland. The region comprises the counties of Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary. Limerick City is the economic centre of the region. 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.

Regional Authority[edit]

Former Regional Authority[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:

The Regional Authorities were dissolved in 2014 and were replaced by Regional Assemblies.

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).

Current Regional Authority[edit]

A number of local authority changes were made by the Irish government in June 2014, however these were not reflected in the NUTS 3 statistical units until June 2018, when appropriate updates were made following the implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/2066. North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary County Council were unified into a single local authority for the county in 2014, however Tipperary remained divided between two NUTS 3 regions for statistical purposes. North Tipperary was located within the Mid-West, and South Tipperary was located within the South-East until June 2018, when Tipperary was transferred in its entirety to the Mid-West Region.

Additionally, Limerick City Council was merged with Limerick County Council in 2014, however this too was not reflected at NUTS 3 level until 2018. Therefore, the number of local authorities in the Mid-West Region has been reduced from 4 to 3, despite the region growing significantly in both size and population since the boundary amendments.

Following unification, Tipperary is now the Mid-West's largest county by area and second largest by population. Clonmel, the county town of Tipperary (formerly in South Tipperary), is now the region's third largest settlement. County Limerick, which until 2014 excluded the city, is now the region's largest county by population. The Mid-West, which was the second smallest of Ireland's 8 regions by population and the fifth largest by area, is now the fourth largest region by both population and area.

The local authorities in the Mid-West Region are as follows:

Since the 2014 reforms, NUTS Level III regions have had no administrative role. The elected representatives of these councils instead convene at the Southern Regional Assembly for planning and local government purposes.


The Mid-West region has a population of 473,269 which constitutes about 9.94% of Ireland's total population.[5]

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.[6]


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.[7] The Dublin/Limerick corridor and the western corridor linking Galway/Ennis/Limerick/Cork is of strategic importance to the region.[7]

According to CSO figures for 2014, the region has a GDP of €12.116 bn and a GDP per capita of €31,792.[8]

[9] 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). .[10]

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.[7]

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.[11]


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 and regionally important towns with a population of 1,000 or more 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 Carrick-on-Suir Tipperary 5,771
9 Roscrea Tipperary 5,446
10 Tipperary Tipperary 4,979
11 Cashel Tipperary 4,422
12 Cahir Tipperary 3,593
13 Annacotty Limerick 2,930
14 Kilrush Clare 2,719
15 Ballina Tipperary 2,632
16 Sixmilebridge Clare 2,625
17 Castleconnell Limerick 2,107
18 Abbeyfeale Limerick 2,023
19 Newport Tipperary 1,995
20 Templemore Tipperary 1,939
21 Newmarket-on-Fergus Clare 1,784
22 Kilmallock Limerick 1,668
23 Fethard Tipperary 1,545
24 Killaloe Clare 1,484
25 Caherconlish Limerick 1,476
26 Rathkeale Limerick 1,441
27 Ardnacrusha Clare 1,383
28 Murroe Limerick 1,377
29 Croom Limerick 1,159
30 Askeaton Limerick 1,137
31 Adare Limerick 1,129
32 Ennistymon Clare 1,045


  1. ^ "Revision to the Irish NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions". cso.ie.
  2. ^ "Census 2016". Central Statistics Office.
  3. ^ http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2014/en/si/0228.html
  4. ^ Statutory Instrument 573/2014
  5. ^ "Census 2016". Central Statistics Office.
  6. ^ "Census of Population 2016" (PDF). Profile 1 – Geographical distribution. Central Statistics Office. 6 April 2017. p. 15. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Irish Region Office - Regions of Ireland: Mid-West Region Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/cirgdp/countyincomesandregionalgdp2014/
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/qnhs/quarterlynationalhouseholdsurveyquarter42016/
  11. ^ www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-alp/agriculturallandprices2016/