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As part of the Census 2016 processing programme places of work, school and college were geo-coded. All workers resident in Ireland on Census night were coded to their place of work and all Irish resident students from the age of 5 and upwards were coded to their place of school/college. A detailed microdata file containing demographic and socio-economic characteristics of these residents along with information on the origin and destination of their journeys has been made available for analysis.

The POWSCAR is only available under strict conditions to bone fide researchers who are approved by CSO. The application process is as follows:

  • Prospective users must apply in writing using the application form which can be accessed below.
  • CSO will evaluate each application made based upon the RMF access policy which can reviewed at the link below.
  • All persons who are permitted to access the data must attend a training program and be signed up as Officers of Statistics for the duration of the research prior to access to the data.
  • CSO will provide approved researchers with POWSCAR data through a remote access system for the duration of the research.
  • Access is for a maximum of one year after which it will be necessary for the researcher to re-apply.
  • Applicants should allow 3-4 weeks for a decision on their application.

For further details on the file content and for applying for access to the data:

To access the Research Microdata File (RMF) Application Form and Policy, please click on the link below:-

Tabular data on commuting

Using information coded from question 34 in Census 2016 for POWSCAR, CSO has developed a set of aggregate commuting counts. These counts are presented at electoral division (ED) and county level.

The counts are based on origin and destination EDs for workers and students who are usually resident in Ireland. The counts include persons who work from home and persons who had no fixed place of work.

Journeys by workers and students from the Republic of Ireland to destinations in both Northern Ireland and overseas are included.

In order to maintain confidentiality, the following measures have been taken prior to publication:

  • Electoral divisions to which fewer than 10 persons commuted have been suppressed.
  • Records where no work, school or college was codeable for a worker or student have been removed. 

The variables on the file are as follows:

RESIDENCE_ED_GUID Geographic Unique Identification (GUID) Code for origin Electoral Division (ED)
RESIDENCE_CSOED CSO ED code for origin ED
RESIDENCE_CSOED_LABEL Name of origin CSO ED
RESIDENCE_COUNTY County code for origin county
RESIDENCE_COUNTY_LABEL Name of origin county
POWSC_ED_GUID GUID for destination ED
POWSC_CSOED CSO ED code for destination ED
POWSC_CSOED_LABEL Name of destination ED
POWSC_COUNTY County code for destination county
POWSC_COUNTY_LABEL Name of destination county
COUNT Number of persons commuting

Note : The file was updated on 31/8/2017 to coincide with the release of the Census 2016 report on commuting. For more detailed tabulations on commuting destinations within Northern Ireland, please contact census@cso.ie.

Commuting Data file (ZIP 2,959KB)