Workers living in Meath face longest commutes, CSO figures show

The average amount of time spent commuting to work has increased from 26.6 minutes to 29.1 minutes

Workers living in Co Meath had on average the longest commutes in the country, followed by other counties bordering Dublin, according to new Central Statistics Office (CSO) census research.

People in Co Meath had an average 35-minute commute to work, with workers from Co Kildare recording an average 34 minute journey, and those in Co Wicklow having to travel for 33.9 minutes on average to work. Workers in Galway city had the shortest average commute at 23 minutes.

The amount of time people spent travelling to work in the State has increased from 26.6 minutes to 29.1 minutes between 2011 and 2022. Men spent on average four minutes longer commuting than women, the statistics show.

The CSO figures show 63 per cent of people reported commuting by car last year, a small fall on the 66 per cent who commuted by car in 2016.


The second-most common way to commute to work was on foot, with around one in 10 people walking to work, a drop on the 15 per cent who said they walked to work in 1986. The proportion of workers who cycled to work fell from 7 per cent in 1986 to 3 per cent last year.

Some 3 per cent of workers reported commuting by train, Dart or Luas, while 6 per cent said they took the bus to work.

Overall the number of people who commuted to work has increased by 8 per cent since 2016, which the CSO said reflected an increase in the population since then.

Workers in Roscommon and Galway city had the highest proportion of people who drive to work, at 70 per cent of commuters. Dublin city had the lowest level of car commuters, with less than a third of workers driving to work.

Nearly a fifth of workers who lived in Dublin city reported walking to work, with 10 per cent stating they cycled to work.

Those in Donegal and Cavan were the least likely to cycle to work, with less than 0.5 per cent of commuters cycling.

For car commuters, the majority of journeys took less than 30 minutes. Those who travelled by train or tram had commutes of 52 minutes on average. Commutes by foot were 17 minutes on average, and 23 minutes by bike.

Eleven per cent of commuters had more than an hour to travel to work, with young men more likely to have long commutes.

Workers from Meath, Wicklow and Kildare had the highest amount of long commutes of more than an hour, while people in Cork City and Galway City had the lowest proportion of long commutes.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times