Gateways and Hubs Development Index 2012 (GHDI 2012)

The GHDI 2012 presents the findings of a detailed assessment of the socioeconomic performance of individual Gateways and Hubs as designated under the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) 2002-2020. The series of reports serves  as both an update and progression of the Gateway Development Index (GDI), which was compiled and published in 2009. All reports are available for download here and the dashboard which presents an interactive array of the data and results is available here.

A Socio-Economic Index was developed to:

1) To measure how Ireland’s Gateway (cities & towns) and Hub (towns) are  driving economic development and improving quality of life in their areas – as set out in the NSS 2002-2020
2) Reflect a growing need to move beyond traditional Macroeconomic Indicators to include Quality of Life/Soft Data
3) The Index builds upon the UN’s Human Development Index  (Ireland 7th, UK 27th in 2012)


Domains and Indicators

The analysis of the Gateway/Hub is undertaken using a series of eight domains and constituent indicators, respecting where possible, those originally adopted in the Gateway Development Index (GDI) 2009. The GHDI 2012 does reflect some minor changes in the suite of indicators used compared to the 2009 Index. While a small number of data sources were no longer collected, additional indicators have been identified at relevant spatial levels which serve to further improve the evolution of the Index.

The domains and indicators consist of: 

For the purposes of the GHDI study two ‘Zone’ boundaries were determined to establish the extent of the functional area associated with the urban core. Zone 1 reflects the urban cores i.e. the relevant cities and towns and their environs as defined by the CSO (2011); and, Zone 2 consists of the wider Gateway catchment or functional area, where in excess of 20% of the residents in employment commutes to the urban core (Zone 1) to work.


The Zone 2 areas may extend beyond the administrative boundaries of each Gateway settlement (See Limerick-Shannon Gateway map which illustrates Zones 1 and 2). In many cases, this has resulted in large parts of the surrounding rural hinterland also being included within the study area, which reflects the influence and economic reach of the Gateways. Accordingly, the population findings within Gateway reports should not be directly compared with Regional Planning Guidelines (RPG) population targets (as set out within the RPGs and city and county development plans).