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8.1 Ireland: Vehicles under current licence 1985-2020

The number of licensed vehicles in Ireland increased by 213% from 915,000 in 1985 to 2.9 million in 2020. Private cars accounted for most of this growth with an increase of 1.5 million vehicles between 1985 and 2020.

The number of goods vehicles has increased by 305% from 93,400 in 1985 to 378,000 in 2020.

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8.2 Ireland: Public transport passenger journeys 2005-2019

The number of public bus and coach passenger journeys in Ireland fell from 238.3 million in 2005 to 191.1 million in 2013, before rising to 227.7 million in 2019.

The number of rail passenger journeys in Ireland fell from 37.7 million in 2005 to 36.7 million in both 2012 and 2013. It rose again in subsequent years and reached 50.1 million journeys in 2019.

The number of Luas passenger journeys increased from 22.0 million in 2005 to 48.3 million in 2019.

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CountryPassenger journeys per capita
United Kingdom27.483347491552

The number of rail passenger journeys per capita in Ireland was 10.1 in 2019. Luxembourg was the EU member state with the highest level of passenger journeys per capita at 40.3, while Greece and Lithuania had the lowest level at 1.8.

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8.3 Ireland: International passengers through Irish air and sea ports 1995-2020

The number of passengers who travelled on international journeys through Irish airports fell by 78.2% from 37.9 million in 2019 to 8.25 million in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lowest over the entire 1995-2020 period.

The number of international passengers travelling to and from Irish seaports also fell by 73.1% from 2.5 million in 2019 to 662,500 in 2020, the lowest figure over the 1995-2020 period.

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8.4 Ireland: Means of travel to work 1986-2016

Between 1986 and 2016, the proportion of females aged 15 years or over driving to work has increased from 27% to 65%. The proportion of females travelling to work as car passengers fell from 16% to 5% in the same period.

The proportion of males aged 15 years or over driving to work increased from 42% to 53% between 1986 and 2016.

There were 10% of females aged 15 years and over who walked to work in 2016 compared with 8% of males. The number of females aged 15 years or over cycling to work declined from 6% in 1986 to 2% in 2016. The proportion of males aged 15 years or over cycling to work fell from 5% to 4% between 1986 and 2016.

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8.5 Ireland: New private cars licensed for the first time by fuel type 2000-2020

The proportion of new licensed private cars in Ireland using diesel increased from 10.4% in 2000 to 74.1% in 2012, before falling to 42.9% in 2020. The proportion using petrol fell from 89.6% in 2000 to 23.3% in 2012, before rising to 37.4% in 2020.

The percentage of new licensed private cars using hybrid, electric and other fuels (such as gas or a blend of ethanol and petrol) increased from 1.7% in 2015 to 19.7% in 2020.

Go to next chapter: Waste