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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Census At School

October 2012

OMG....! 30% of students sleep with their phone under their pillow.

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7,150 secondary school attendees from 216 schools completed the Phase11 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between August 2011 and August 2012. The questionnaire covered a variety of topics ranging from what students have for breakfast, the types of sports activity they participate in, where they keep their mobile phones and how much they knew about the Olympics.

Details on the CensusAtSchool project and more results from Phase 11 can be found on the website

Interesting findings from Phase 11 results:

  • 30% of respondents of the 2011/12 survey stated they kept their mobile phones under their pillow while sleeping (Figure 1).
  • The most popular time of the morning to get out of bed was between 7.30am and 8.00am (Figure 4).
  • 53% of respondents indicated they eat cereal for breakfast. Toast (17%) and cooked breakfast (6%) were the next most popular choices (Figure 6).
  • Football (14%) was the most popular participation sport followed by Gaelic football (13%) and Basketball (9%) (Figure 9).
  • Usain Bolt (34%) was the most popular choice when students were asked to name a famous Olympian. The next most popular and also the first Irish sportsperson to be named was Sonia O’Sullivan (13%) (Figure 11).


Which one of the following would you rather have?
Overall 37% of all respondents to the survey indicated “skill” to be their preferred attribute. The chart highlights "strength" is more preferred by male students than female students.

X-axis labelFemaleMale
Agility (Quickness)9.7611.62
Endurance (Stamina)24.5624.31


Where did you keep your mobile phone last night while you slept?
A greater percentage of female respondents (35%) sleep with their phones under their pillows than males (23%) .


What time did you get out of bed this morning?
The majority of respondents indicated they get out of bed each morning between 7.30 am and 7.59 am (33.2 %).

X-axis labelFemale
In another
Under my
In my
X-axis labelMale
In another
Under my
In my
X-axis labelTime
Before 5.00 am0.28
5.00 - 5.29 am0.27
5.30 - 5.59 am0.31
6.00 - 6.29 am1.87
6.30 - 6.59 am8.04
7.00 - 7.29 am28.73
7.30 - 7.59 am33.21
8.00 - 8.29 am20.33
8.30 - 8.59 am2.81
9.00 - 9.29 am0.32
9.30 - 9.59 am0.33
After 10.00 am3.5


On a school day, do you eat breakfast?

X-axis labelWhere Breakfast Is Eaten
At school2.97583333333333
Before I leave for school81.4258333333333
I don't have breakfast12.3308333333333
On the way to school3.26666666666667


In Figure 5b, we look more closely at the profile of students who stated they do not eat breakfast. The chart shows a higher percentage of female students miss breakfast than males.

X-axis label1st Year2nd Year3rd Year4th Year5th Year6th Year


Please state what you had for breakfast this morning?
Cereal was respondents most popular breakfast with 53%. Porridge which was not listed specifically on the survey was mentioned as the most popular other type of breakfast. In addition to breakfast, the survey indicated that on average male students consume 3.9 portions of fruit a day. Female students consume an average of 3.6 portions a day.

X-axis labelType of Breakfast
Cooked Breakfast6.24
I did not have breakfast14.27


What sporting activities have you taken part in during the last year?
Respondents listed 24 sports. The top 10 choices are shown in Figure 7.

X-axis labelSport
Gaelic Football12.84


Name a famous Olympian and state the event he/she competed in.
Usain Bolt was the most popular Olympian to be named in the survey followed by Sonia O’Sullivan and Michael Phelps. 85% of respondents correctly listed Athletics as his Olympic discipline. 15% of respondents listed a total of 21 other sports they felt Bolt had competed in ranging from Archery to Taekwondo.

Number of HoursSchool exerciseNon school exercise
Less than 1 hour636487
1 to 21942971
2 to 3875847
3 to 4437694
4 to 5265529
5 to 6177395
6 to 794245
7 to 858190
8 tp 936141
9 to 1038115
More than 10 hours106297

Background Notes


7,150 secondary school attendees from 216 secondary schools completed the Phase11 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between August 2011 and August 2012. Because the survey is voluntary and not part of a representative sampling process, the results of the survey are less reliable in providing inferences about the overall secondary school student population.

Item Response to Questionnaire

Figure 9 shows how the level of responses to the CensusAtSchool declined over the length of the questionnaire. Of the students that entered the survey, 91% completed question 1A. In contrast 67% of the individuals continued through the survey to complete question 21. The highlighted areas on the chart show events that appear to have affected the response rates e.g. respondents moving to a new page of the questionnaire corresponded with a more significant drop in the individual response rates.

 Figure 9 Survey question response rate in order of when questions were asked

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