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Commuting

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Outside of the 'Cities' less than 2% of people travelling to work, school, or college do so by bicycle.

Nearly 3 million workers and students commuted in 2016, an increase of 9.3% on the 2011 figure of 2.7 million and a rise of 62% since 1986.

Driving a car was the most popular way to commute in 2011 and in 2016, although the proportion fell from 41.6% to 40.6%, with a drop in each of the urban areas and rise in each of the rural areas, (see Figure 8.1). The lowest proportion of commuters who drove a car was 33.6% in ‘Cities’ in 2016 with the highest at 48.2% in ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’.

Walking was the second most popular way to commute for people living in ‘Cities’ at 20.1% in 2016. Travelling by car as a passenger was the second most popular method in every other type of area, with the highest proportion of 25.2% in ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’.

The highest proportion of commuters in 2016 who cycled was 6.1% in ‘Cities’, in contrast to between 0.5%-0.7% of commuters in the three rural areas.

Driving a carOn footBicycleBus, minibus or coachTrain, DART or LuasMotor cycle or scooterPassenger in a carOther, including lorry or vanNot stated
Cities 201135.921.44.712.94.80.613.72.43.6
Cities 201633.620.16.113.15.10.513.62.35.8
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
Satellite urban towns201144.716.71.48.34.90.417.33.82.7
Satellite urban towns 201642.916.41.59.24.80.317.93.53.5
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
Independent urban towns 201141.721.11.65.30.80.221.54.13.7
Independent urban towns 201640.519.61.65.80.90.222.24.05.2
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
Rural areas with high urban influence 201148.05.50.610.20.90.224.47.42.9
Rural areas with high urban influence 201648.24.90.69.71.00.225.27.13.2
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 201145.36.60.512.20.40.122.58.63.8
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 201646.25.70.511.10.40.123.98.43.7
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
Highly rural/remote areas 201141.69.80.713.80.20.120.08.94.9
Highly rural/remote areas 201643.18.60.612.20.30.121.18.95.0
0.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0
State 201141.615.32.310.62.60.318.84.93.5
State 201640.614.42.810.62.80.319.24.74.6

Just under one in two travelling for less than 15 minutes to work, school, or college in 'Independent urban towns'

The average commuting time for workers and students in 2016 was 24.3 minutes, up from 23.1 minutes in 2011. ‘Independent urban towns’ had the lowest average commuting time of 20.6 minutes, while those in ‘Satellite urban towns’ had the highest at 27.1 minutes, (see Table 8.1).

Between 2011 and 2016 there was an increase in travel times for people at work and for students aged 19 and older.  For students aged 18 and younger, there was a small drop in average travel time in some areas.

People going to work had an average journey time of 28.2 minutes in 2016, with the longest journeys of 32.2 minutes in ‘Satellite urban towns’ compared to the shortest at 23.9 minutes in ‘Independent urban towns’.

The longest journey time among all students was 45.2 minutes for students aged 19 and over living in ‘Satellite urban towns’ while the shortest commuting time was 9.8 minutes for children aged between 5 and 12 living in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’.

About one in three commuters (32.3%) in 2016 had a journey time of less than 15 minutes but this varied from 24.0% in ‘Cities’ to 46.7% in ‘Independent urban towns’.

The longest journey times of one hour or more were experienced by 12.1% of commuters in ‘Satellite urban towns’ in 2016 compared to just 6.8% of commuters in ‘Cities’, (see Figure 8.2).

< 1/4 hour1/4 hour - < 1/2 hour1/2 hour - < 3/4 hour3/4 hour - < 1 hour1 hours and over1 hour - < 1 1/2 hours1 1/2 hours and overNot stated
Cities 20162433.120.96.66.85.41.48.6
Cities 201126.535.220.56.15.54.51.16.2
Satellite urban towns 201630.426.217.87.712.19.42.75.8
Satellite urban towns 201131.326.518.47.910.98.52.45
Independent urban towns 201646.723.610.53.67.64.82.88.1
Independent urban towns 201149.624.110.13.56.44.12.36.4
Rural areas with high urban influence 201632.228.618.16.29.16.52.65.8
Rural areas with high urban influence 201133.329.817.85.97.65.52.15.6
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 201635.828.315.458.65.736.7
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 201136.429.115.54.97.452.56.7
Highly rural/remote areas 201638.426.114.94.57.85.12.78.3
Highly rural/remote areas 201138.926.8154.56.74.52.28
State 201632.328.817.35.98.362.37.4
State 2011343017.15.67.15.21.96.2
Show Table: 8.1 Average travel time (in minutes) of population at work school or college by area type, 2011 and 2016

Commuters in ‘Satellite urban towns’ most likely to leave before 7am

About one in five commuters (21.6%) left home between 8:31 and 9:00, with the highest proportion in ‘Independent urban towns’ at 27.8%, (see Figure 8.3). Between 8:31 and 9:00 was the most popular time to leave home in all areas except for ‘Cities’, where 23.5% left between 8:01 and 8:30.

Commuters were most likely to leave before 7:00 in ‘Satellite urban towns’, where 16.2% of commuters left at this time, and ‘Rural areas with high urban influence’ at 13.4%.

Before 06:3006:30 - 07:0007:01 - 07:3007:31 - 08:0008:01 - 08:3008:31 - 09:0009:01 - 09:30After 09:30Not stated
Cities 20164.979.916.223.518.94.68.76.3
Cities 20114.15.88.815.624.521.95.59.74.1
Satellite urban towns 20167.2910.714.620.8215.77.14
Satellite urban towns 201167.910.514.819.723.36.97.73.3
Independent urban towns 20166.66.36.611.31827.88.98.65.8
Independent urban towns 201155.56.21117.230.910.59.34.3
Rural areas with high urban influence 20165.97.59.816.120.621.59.953.6
Rural areas with high urban influence 20114.46.2915.520.223.312.35.63.4
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 20165.76.68.514.919.223.112.55.34.2
Rural areas with moderate urban influence 20114.25.4814.718.624.314.95.74.3
Highly rural/remote areas 201655.97.613.717.423.714.66.55.6
Highly rural/remote areas 20113.54.76.913.517.224.517.275.5
State 20165.77.19.114.9821.987.35.2
State 20114.568.414.59.724.29.784.1

Primary school children leave later for school in rural areas

The most popular time for primary school children to leave home was between 8:31 and 9:00 in all the areas except for ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ where 46.6% left after 9:00. More than half of primary school children left between 8:31 and 9:00 in ‘Independent urban towns’ and ‘Satellite urban towns’, (see Figure 8.4).

The highest proportion of primary school children leaving home between 8:01 and 8:30 was 35.4% in ‘Cities’.

CitiesSatellite urban townsIndependent urban townsRural areas with high urban influenceRural areas with moderate urban influenceHighly rural/remote areas
Any time up to 08:008.96.73.35.33.32.3
08:01 - 08:3035.425.517.214.910.77.3
08:31 - 09:0047.552.153.146.142.740.1
After 9:002.311.620.53140.446.6
Not stated5.84.15.82.733.7

One in ten workers in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ work mainly from home

There were 94,955 people aged 15 and over at work in 2016 who worked mainly from home, 4.8% of the total 1,970,728 people at work. The proportion of people working mainly from home was highest at 9.8% in ‘Highly rural/remote areas’, compared to the lowest percentage of 2.3% in ‘Cities’. Twice as many people worked from home in the three rural areas (63,728) than in the three urban areas (31,227), (see Table 8.2 and Figure 8.5).

20112016
Cities2.32.1
Satellite urban towns2.82.4
Independent urban towns2.62.4
Rural areas with high urban influence7.97.8
Rural areas with moderate urban influence9.79.7
Highly rural/remote areas9.89.7
State4.84.7
Show Table: 8.2 Population aged 15 years and over at work by means of travel and area type

More than three in four workers from rural areas do not work in a City

Of all the workers who lived in ‘Cities’ in 2016, 54.7% worked in Dublin City and suburbs while 28.3% worked in the remainder of the country. For workers living in ‘Satellite urban towns’, 60.9% had their place of work in the remainder of the country while 29.8% worked in Dublin City and suburbs, (see Table 8.3).

Most workers who lived in areas other than ‘Cities’ did not work in a city. More than 90% of workers who lived in ‘Independent urban towns’, ‘Rural areas with moderate urban influence’ and ‘Highly rural/remote areas’ worked outside of the five cities while 76.1% of workers from ‘rural areas with high urban influence’ and 60.9% of workers in ‘Satellite urban towns’ did not work in a City.

Show Table: 8.3 Place of usual residence (by area type) of workers commuting to the main cities and suburbs

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