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Gaeilge

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Time and Distance

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Minutes
200226.8
200627.5
201126.6
201628.2

Interactive table: StatBank Link E6006

Increase in average travel time to work

The average commute for those at work rose in 2016 to 28.2 minutes, having fallen between 2006 (27.5mins) and 2011 (26.6mins). Commuting times rose in every county, but there was still significant variation in times travelled depending on where people lived.

Counties bordering Dublin had the longest average commuting time. Among workers living in Meath and Wicklow, it took, on average, nearly 35 minutes to travel to work, while Kildare commuters took just under 34 minutes. At the other end of the scale, average commutes of under 23 minutes were enjoyed by residents of Donegal, Sligo, Waterford and Kerry. Commuters in Cavan saw the biggest rise in their average commuting time, which rose by 8.8 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to over 28 minutes.

As seen in 2011, a greater proportion of workers living in counties that werewithin commuting distance of Dublin tended to take longer to arrive at their place of employment.

One fifth of workers in Wicklow (20.1%) and Meath (19.3%) had a commute of one hour or more to their job, along with around one in six who resided in Kildare (18.7%), Laois (17.8%) and Westmeath (15.2%).

Laois, with 2,107 people (6.7%) had the highest share of workers in any county with a commute of 90 minutes or more, followed by Longford (6%), Cavan (5.9%), Westmeath (5.8%), Offaly (5.6%) and Carlow (5%).

At the other end of the scale, 37 per cent of workers in Donegal had a commute of less than 15 minutes, followed by Mayo (36%) and Kerry (35%).

CountyMinutes
Meath34.6
Wicklow34.5
Kildare33.8
Fingal33.4
Laois31.9
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown30.6
South Dublin30.6
Galway County29.3
Dublin City28.9
Offaly28.9
Westmeath28.8
Carlow28.5
Cavan28.5
Louth27.7
Leitrim27.4
Wexford26.7
Cork County26.6
Longford26.4
Roscommon26.4
Kilkenny25.6
Tipperary25.6
Monaghan24.9
Clare24.5
Limerick City and County24.2
Mayo23.3
Kerry22.7
Waterford City and County22.4
Cork City22.1
Sligo22.1
Donegal22.1
Galway City21.7

Figure 3.3 shows the percentage travel times of each county for commuters in 2016. Only 1 in 4 commuters had a travel time of 15 minutes or less, down 2 per cent on 2011 while, conversely, nearly 1 in 5 commuters had a travel time over 45 minutes, up from 16.3 per cent in 2011.

The percentage number of commuters with travel times below half an hour has decreased between 2011 and 2016. In 2011, 55.9 per cent (948,121) of commuters travelled less than half an hour to work, in 2016 it was down to 52.3 per cent.

The average travel time of those leaving for work before 6:30am is 38.9 minutes, while those leaving after 8:30am have a 20 minute average travel time.

Not stated90+mins61-90mins31-60minsLess than 30 mins
Fingal8.12.812.636.640
Meath6.84.514.832.641.3
Wicklow7.24.715.531.141.6
Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown5.71.28.241.643.3
Kildare5.9414.732.143.3
South Dublin8.729.235.644.5
Dublin City11.51.26.435.645.3
Galway County7.62.6834.147.6
Laois9.26.71122.151
Cork County6.41.76.231.454.3
Leitrim9.74.25.825.255
Offaly8.45.68.422.255.4
Carlow95921.355.6
Cavan8.85.97.720.756.8
Westmeath85.89.518.658.2
Louth8.14.6919.658.6
Clare8.11.94.826.159.1
Tipperary7.83.46.223.459.2
Roscommon8.44.45.921.659.7
Longford9.764.519.760.2
Wexford7.74.96.720.260.4
Limerick City and County8.52424.860.7
Kilkenny6.744.72361.7
Monaghan8.445.719.462.5
Kerry9.72.54.22063.5
Mayo8.32.55.719.763.8
Donegal9.42.24.219.564.7
Cork City9.312.522.165.1
Sligo8.623.219.766.5
Galway City8.81.43.119.267.4
Waterford City and County82.24.617.467.8

It's a Fact

  • 28.2 - Average travel time in minutes for all commuters in 2016
  • 35 - Average travel time in minutes for commuters in Meath and Wicklow
MaleFemale
15-2911.39.3
30-4413.810.1
45-5912.27.1
60+85

Interactive table: StatBank Link E6040

An hour or more 

Nearly 200,000 commuters (199,922), representing almost 11 per cent of all commuters, spent an hour or more commuting to work in 2016, with an average travel time of 74 minutes. This has increased by almost 50,000 persons (31%) on the 2011 figure of 152,000. Men account for 61 per cent of those commuting for over an hour. Nearly 53,000 workers commuted 90 minutes or more.

When examined by age, almost half of the 200,000 commuters who travelled an hour or more were aged between 30 and 44. Women made up 40 per cent of this group. In contrast those aged 45-59 made up 28 per cent of those with long commutes.

Table 3.1 presents the top twelve large towns (10,000+) with the highest percentage of workers who commuted an hour or more to their place of work. Laytown-Bettystown-Mornington with 28 per cent of its 4,565 workers, had the highest percentage of persons with a long commute, followed by Skerries with 1,092 of its workers, and Greystones-Delgany with 1,855 persons. At the other end of the scale was Sligo with only 3.5 per cent of commuters, the lowest percentage in this category.

Table 3.1 Towns with the highest percentage of workers commuting more than one hour, 2016
 No. of Commuters%
Laytown-Bettystown-Mornington1,25827.6
Skerries1,09227.3
Greystones-Delgany1,85525.0
Maynooth1,39422.6
Wicklow88621.7
Balbriggan1,71720.8
An Uaimh (Navan)2,29719.2
Malahide1,29618.9
Celbridge1,69818.6
Arklow86018.3
Droichead Nua (Newbridge)1,68117.8
Portlaoise 1,44217.4

Commuting and families

Table 3.2 presents data on family types by time spent commuting.

Parents with young children under five made up just over a third of the 939,967 parents with children. In 2016 there were 43,372 parents with pre-school children who spent an hour or more commuting to work which was up 8,027 (23%) on 2011. In all, 14 per cent of couples with children in the under 5 category had commutes of over an hour. In Wicklow, 25 per cent of parents of children under five took over an hour to get to work, the highest percentage of any county, followed by Meath, Kildare, Laois and Westmeath where around one in five parents whose youngest child was 0-4 years old had a commute of over an hour.

Table 3.2 Usually resident parents who commute to work by family type and age of youngest child, 2016
Age of youngest childLess than one hourOne hour or more
Couple with childrenOne parent with childrenCouple with childrenOne parent with children
Total701,17185,47195,9247,533
0 - 4 years255,05014,41141,9721,400
5 - 9 years148,28416,90821,7171,626
10 - 14 years106,73216,55513,8161,456
15-19 years91,61116,8469,7151,439
20+ years99,49420,7518,7041,612

It's a Fact

  • 122,914 - The number of males commuting one hour or more to work in 2016.
  • 77,008 - The number of females commuting one hour or more to work in 2016.
  • 43,372 - The number of parents whose youngest child was 0-4 years old, who travelled for over an hour to work.
20112016
Before 06:30119601166712
06:30 - 07:00153263198657
07:01 - 07:30201029233443
07:31 - 08:00288658315161
08:01 - 08:30297931314874
08:31 - 09:00261027247972
09:01 - 09:30109671100206
After 09:30184701188565

Travel time increases for early commuters

Workers who left for work before 06:30am had an average time to work of 39 minutes in April 2016, up from 36 minutes in 2011. In April 2006 the same cohort took 42 minutes.

Persons who left for work between 06:30am and 07:30am took on average 36 minutes to travel to work in 2016, up from 34 minutes in 2011.

One fifth of commuters left for work before 7am, increasing to 365,000 (+34%) since April 2011 with nearly 7 in 10 of these being male.

Male Female
Before 06:3012.35.1
06:30 - 07:0012.88.1
07:01 - 07:3013.611.2
07:31 - 08:0017.116.5
08:01 - 08:3014.219.7
08:31 - 09:0010.116.8
09:01 - 09:304.16.8
After 09:309.610.6

Interactive table: StatBank Link E6016

The average commute by time of departure to work for males and females in 2016 is analysed in Figure 3.7. Thirty-nine per cent of men left for work before 07:30am compared with 24 per cent of women. By contrast, only 14 per cent of men departed between 8:31 and 09:30 compared with 24 per cent of women.

On average, close to 1 in 10 of the commuting population left for work before 06:30am. In towns with populations of over 1,500 persons, over 25 per cent of commuters in Ballyjamesduff (26.3%) and Ballivor (25.4%) left before 06:30am, followed by Edenderry (24.3%) and Edgeworthstown (22.4%).

Overall, the numbers who left for work after 8:30am has dropped by 19,000 to 537,000 and made up 29 per cent of commuters. Fifty-six per cent of those who left after  8:30am were women.

Table 3.3 Top 10 Towns of 1,500 + persons with the highest percentage of early leavers, 2016
 No. leaving before 6:30am Total commuters%
Ballyjamesduff25195426.3
Ballivor16063025.4
Edenderry651268224.3
Meathas Truim (Edgeworthstown)15066922.4
Derrinturn11353921.0
Kinnegad214100421.3
Longwood13565920.5
Courtown Harbour-Riverchapel227111420.4
Fermoy490256419.1
Cahir266143118.6
MaleFemale
Before 06:3039.736.7
06:30 - 07:0037.336.2
07:01 - 07:303434.6
07:31 - 08:0028.130
08:01 - 08:3026.125.9
08:31 - 09:0020.118.4
09:01 - 09:3021.118.3
After 09:3023.419.8

It's a Fact

  • 25% - Male commuters who left for work before 07:00am
  • 13% - Female commuters who left for work before 07:00am
  • 913,973 - All commuters who left for work before 08:00am

Growing distance between people and their jobs

On average, workers lived within 15 Km of their place of work in 2016, up from 14.7 Km recorded five years previously. This refers to the straight-line distance for persons at work between their place of residence and their workplace address.

At county level the longest average straight line distances were recorded in Laois (25 Km) and Leitrim (23 Km) with the shortest in Dublin City (5.9 Km).

Overall the number of workers who lived 25 Km or more from their workplace location (straight line) increased by 10 per cent from 216,820 to 238,341 over the last intercensal period. A total of 77,148 persons lived in excess of 50 Km from their place of work in 2016, with 47,951 (62%) being male.

Km
Dublin City5.8754656952
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown8.3335833912
Cork City8.5303692903
South Dublin8.5984085208
Galway City9.5766816897
Fingal11.687546897
Waterford City and County14.646126947
Limerick City and County16.145312116
Kerry16.971589059
Donegal17.089928564
Sligo17.257817737
Louth17.518441718
Monaghan17.61907908
Clare17.962632209
Cork County18.064849917
Kilkenny18.220364742
Kildare18.269704313
Wicklow18.778650337
Mayo18.918704864
Wexford19.498039538
Longford19.973566434
Tipperary20.022966518
Carlow20.433881932
Cavan20.634276679
Meath20.869150599
Westmeath21.293796043
Offaly21.421632985
Galway County21.578826559
Roscommon22.553040133
Leitrim23.331708543
Laois25.108873138