Irish households continue to be the third most indebted in the European Union, coming only after Denmark and the Netherlands.

This is despite what the Central Bank called a "significant" decline in debt as a proportion of disposable income last year.

New figures from the Central Bank for the fourth quarter of last year show that household debt fell by €1.6 billion (down 1.1%) to €149.6 billion - its lowest level since the first quarter of 2006.

This represented a household debt per capita of €32,269.

The Central Bank noted that household debt has now declined for the last 29 quarters in a row and has fallen by 26.6% since its peak of €203.7 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

Debt as a proportion of disposable income fell during the quarter from 159.8% to 155.1%. Overall, the ratio of household debt to disposable income has fallen by over 60 percentage points since its peak of 215.3% in the second quarter of 2011.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank figures also show that household net worth rose by 1.4% to €626.1 billion, or €135,078 per capita, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The bank said this was as a result of a rise in housing asset values as well as a further fall in household liabilities. 

Household net worth has risen by 41% since a post crisis low of €444 billion seen in the second quarter of 2012.

But it still remains 12.8% lower than its pre-crisis peak of €718 billion reached in the second quarter of 2007.