While Louth is the smallest county in the State, it is the second most densely populated county in Ireland, and home to two of the largest towns in the country - Drogheda and Dundalk. Apart from these 2 major urban centres, the county also contains a number of substantial towns and villages including Ardee, Dunleer, Clogherhead and Carlingford. The county is strategically located on the Dublin - Belfast Economic Corridor and has strong links to Northern Ireland.
Louth’s location, combined with a high-quality infrastructure (road and rail), accessibility to ports and airports (north and south), high speed broadband and a skilled and educated workforce, means the county is well placed to continue to grow in both population and economic terms. The population within a 60 km radius of Drogheda is circa 1.8 million, while within a 60 km radius of Dundalk it is circa 1.3 million. This large catchment area provides a strong skills set for potential employers to access.
Louth has excellent access to Dublin and Belfast City Centre, Airport, Port, and surrounding Key Towns in the Region means the County is well positioned to attract economic investment. Economic development and employment in the County is concentrated in business parks, industrial estates, and town centres in Drogheda, Dundalk, Ardee, and Dunleer. Outside of these settlements there are smaller scale enterprises in the small towns, villages, and open countryside.
With over 35,000 jobs in the county and a Jobs : Workforce ratio of 0.71 recorded in Census 2016, the economic benefits associated with the strategic location of the county, and in particular the strength of the employment base, are clear. With a net outward migration rate of almost 30% of resident workers travelling outside the County, the majority of whom work in Dublin, there is a strong interdependency between Louth and Dublin. Dundalk is the primary centre of employment in the County, with almost 40% of the total jobs in the county.
Louth has a broad range of employers from various industrial sectors, the most prominent sectors include bio-pharma, food and beverage production, manufacturing, financial services, and ICT. Health and education are also prominent employment sectors, with two hospitals (Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and Louth County Hospital in Dundalk) and a third level education facility (Dundalk Institute of Technology, DkIT and Drogheda Institute of Further Education, DIFE), located in the county. Within the various employment sectors in the County there are opportunities for continued growth and expansion.X