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E-mail: Felix Coleman (+353) 21 453 5129 Eoin McCuirc (+353) 21 453 5504
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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Census At School

October 2014

Over 80% of students receive a weekly income

Figure 1 Source of Weekly Income
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CensusAtSchool is a non-profit making international project funded by organisations interested in promoting good use of statistics, mathematics and data handling. Ireland became involved in CensusAtSchool in 2009 when the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), the CSO, Project Maths and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) collaborated to set-up the Irish website

4,906 (1.3%) from an estimated 368,000 secondary school students completed the Phase 13 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between September 2013 and August 2014. The questionnaire covered a variety of topics ranging from how much students earned each week to their favourite takeaway food and their resting heart rates.

Interesting findings from Phase 13 results:

  • Over four-fifths of students receive a weekly income. Pocket money (32% in females and 33% in males) and paid work (16% in females and 17% in males) are the most popular type of payments being received. (See Figure 1)
  • Chinese (33%), Pizza (28%) and Chips (10%) were student’s favourite take-away foods. (See Figure 2)
  • On average, students indicated they own 12 pairs of different types of footwear. Female students (16 pairs) indicated they own twice as many pairs of footwear as male students (8 pairs). (See Figure 3)
  • When asked about the level of trust of a selection of social entities, students indicated they have the most trust in their classmates and the Gardai. Students indicated they had the least level of trust for politicians and the press. (See Figure 4)
  • Physical education (13%) and Art (12%) were student’s favourite subjects at non-fee paying secondary schools. In contrast, Mathematics (11%) and English (9.5%) were the favourite subjects of students attending fee paying secondary schools. (See Figure 5)
  • 64% of students indicated they have read a book in the last month. Fantasy/Sci-fi (18.7%), Adventure (18.6%) and Romance (12.8%) were student’s most popular genre of book. (See Table 1 and Table 2)
  • Responses indicate that students in the more northerly counties of Donegal, Sligo, Cavan, Longford and Westmeath had the lowest resting heart rates (60-65 beats per minute (bpm)). When students measured their heart rate after a short burst of exercise it was students in Offaly that had the smallest percentage rise in their bpm (20-29%). (See Map 1 and Map 2)
Figure 2 Students Favourite Takeaway Food
X-axis labelFemaleMale
Trainers /sports shoes3.30413432.7272727
Shoes (casual + formal)5.27261562.4342051
X-axis labelLevel of Trust
The Press3.4685113
National Government4.006397
Financial institutions4.0284771
Religious Institutions4.1790429
The Internet4.4876135
Your Classmates6.7352456
X-axis labelNon-Fee PayingFee Paying
Physical Education13.298.39
Home Economics5.636.91
Materials Technology (Wood)4.191.48
Table 1 Student's Reading and library use   
Have you read a book in the last month ?6436
Have you read an e-book in the last month ?1783
Do you borrow books or e-books from your local library ?2773
Table 2 Student's favourite type of books  
I don't read books20.6




Background Notes

About CensusAtSchools

The Royal Statistical Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) started the CensusAtSchool project in 2000 in conjunction with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK. The project, originally a one-off, was linked to the UK population census of 2001. It has now developed into a dynamic, on-going and exciting initiative running in a number of countries.


4,906 secondary school attendees from 155 secondary schools completed the Phase13 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between September 2013 and August 2014. 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.


The CensusAtSchool Phase 13 questionnaire and more results from the survey can be found on the CensusAtSchool website at

A data tool for examining CensusAtSchool data can be found at:


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