Mid-West Region, Ireland

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The Mid-West Region (coded IE023) is a NUTS Level III statistical region of Ireland. It comprises the territory of the counties of Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary and the city of Limerick. It spans 8,248 km², 11% of the total area of the state and had a 2002 population of 339,591.[1]

Prior to 2014, the region was governed by the Mid-West Regional Assembly. Statutory instrument No. 573/2014 abolished that assembly.[2][3] 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 the 1st June, 2014. The current NUTS classification was released in 2013, and remains in place until the end of 2016, therefore Tipperary remains divided for statistical purposes into two different NUTS 3 regions until the next amendment to the classification is released in 2017, which will take into account the changes to the Local Administrative Units of each member state.

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).


The Mid-West region has a population of 339,591 which constitutes about 8.67% of Ireland's total population.[1] The population density of the region is 41.17 persons/square km. Limerick city is the largest urban area in the region with a population of 57,106 (2011 census) within the city boundary area and has a population of 91,454 people within the larger urban area including the city suburbs.[1]


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.[1] The Dublin/Limerick corridor and the western corridor linking Galway/Ennis/Limerick/Cork is of strategic importance to the region.[1]

According to CSO figures for 2014, the region has a GDP of €12.116 bn and a GDP per capita of €31,792.[4]

[5] 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). .[6]

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.[1]

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


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
(2011 census)
1 Limerick Limerick 91,454
2 Ennis Clare 25,360
3 Shannon Clare 9,673
4 Nenagh County Tipperary 7,995
5 Thurles County Tipperary 7,682
6 Newcastle West Limerick 7,291
7 Roscrea County Tipperary 5,300
8 Kilrush Clare 2,532
9 Templemore County Tipperary 1,943
10 Rathkeale Limerick 1,802