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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 2015

Night Owl students catch up on sleep in the morning

Chart 1 Students average (mean) wake up time classified by bedtime hour
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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 5,348 (1.5%) from an estimated 368,000 secondary school students completed the Phase 14 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between September 2014 and August 2015. The questionnaire covered a variety of topics ranging from how often students participated in family activities each week to the number of text messages they send daily.

Interesting findings from Phase 14 results:

  • Students heading to sleep after midnight will on average get up more than 20 minutes later each morning than students who head to sleep before 9 o’clock. (See Chart 1)
  • Responses indicate that female students in non-fee paying schools sent the highest average number of text messages (36 texts) on the day prior to completing the survey. In contrast, male students in fee paying schools sent half as many texts (18 texts). (See Chart 2)
  • Just under half (44%) of male students imagine their future fame will be in a sports related area. The most popular choice for female students (27%) was in the field of entertainment. (See Chart 3)
  • Data indicates that the price students pay for jeans rises as they progress through secondary school for both males and females. Female students paid an average of €21 for jeans when they are in 1st year. In contrast, 6th year female students paid on average €27 for a pair of jeans. (See Chart 4)
  • Students were asked to indicate on a scale of 100 from “very” to “not at all” how they viewed their family with respect to a list of behaviours / events.  The results of the questions can be seen in Chart 5.
  • Over one fifth of students (22%) who have allergies indicated they were allergic to peanuts. Over half (51%) of students with allergies indicated their allergy was not one of the more popular allergy’s listed in the questionnaire.(See Chart 6)
X-axis labelFee payingNon fee payingAll Schools
Both sexes24.132.131.6
X-axis labelMaleFemale
Arts and Culture4.6213.4
X-axis labelMaleFemale
X-axis labelFamily Characteristic
Environmentally aware3.93
Politically aware4.17
Avid readers4.26
Overall family well being5.88
X-axis label%
Gluten (wheat, rye, barley)12.06
Cow's milk (dairy)18.88
Multiple allergies19.23

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.


5,348 secondary school attendees from 155 secondary schools completed the Phase14 questionnaire of the CensusAtSchool survey between September 2014 and August 2015. 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 14 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:

Map 1. Student participation in CensusAtSchool Phase 14 questionnaire classified by school's county

 Map 1 Student participation in CensusAtSchool Phase 14 questionnaire classified by school's county

Note: The map only includes survey response when the Roll number on the questionnaire response matched a school Roll number provided by the Department of Education and Skills.

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