Recent official figures have revealed that 56 of Offaly's 86 electoral divisions are classified as having below average prosperity, while four of the electoral divisions (Srah, Gallen, Raheenakeeran and Shinrone) are designated as “disadvantaged”.
Offaly is also one of a number of counties in the region to not have at least one electoral division with a “affluent” rating.
Pobal's latest deprivation index utilises data from last year's Census to reveal Ireland's most affluent and deprived areas. It uses a variety of indicators including unemployment levels, educational attainment and lone parent ratio.
In addition to the four "disadvantaged areas", the index also revealed that while most of the deprivation in the county is located in the west and the south of the county, a large section of east Offaly is also below average. Pobal identified as Offaly one of a number of "distant commuter belt" counties " that have yet to benefit from the recovery.
Srah, on the outskirst of Tullamore, is the county's most deprived ED, according to the compilers of the index. It has a male unemployment rate of 26% and female rate of 26.34%. Twenty two percent of families in Srah are lone parent, while over a quarter of residents have only a primary school education.
Gallen is the second least prosperous ED. It has a female unemployment rate 30%, almost double the countywide average, while 22% of males are out of work.
Twenty eight percent of residents have a primary education only, while it ahs a fifth of families are headed by lone parents.
Countywide, Offaly is designated as being "marginally below average" when it comes to prosperity.
On Census night last year, it had a male unemployment rate of 16.29% and a female unemployment rate of 15.97%.
Just over a quarter of Offaly people have a third level education, while 16% have only a primary education. Just under a fifth of local families are lone parent.
The most disadvantaged areas in Offaly revealed
Friday, 24th November, 2017 4:22pm