Take note Taoiseach: here’s where people get up earliest in the morning

Census data shows what time people get up at in the morning across Ireland

Early risers were identified by the Taoiseach in campaign for the Fine Gael leadership

Early risers were identified by the Taoiseach in campaign for the Fine Gael leadership


Leo Varadkar will be pleased to discover that his constituency of Dublin West is home to a higher-than-average number of people who get up early in the morning to go to work, according to figures released on Thursday by the Central Statistics Office.

Early risers were specifically identified by the Taoiseach in the course of his campaign for the Fine Gael leadership as being the sort of people whom the party should seek to represent.

Residents of the western and northern suburbs of the capital are more likely to depart for work before 7am, according to the Census data released by the CSO, with more than 25 per cent saying they leave home before that time every morning. In contrast, less than 15 per cent of those living in coastal suburbs such as Blackrock and Monkstown manage to get themselves out the door by that time, while the figure is even lower for Ballsbridge and Ranelagh.

Mr Varadkar was criticised by his opponent Simon Coveney during the leadership campaign for using language “separating the public sector from the private sector, separating the achievers from the non achievers”.

Today’s Census results show that the number of people in Mr Coveney’s Cork South Central constituency who leave for work before seven is well below the comparable figure for Dublin West.

Responding to criticism at the time, Mr Varadkar said what had he meant by “people who get up early in the morning” was those with long commutes, parents, and carers.

The data certainly confirms that the part of the country which has to drag itself out of bed earliest in the morning is the commuter belt around Dublin, particularly counties Meath and Kildare.

In general, the CSO’s map of early risers shows that, contrary to received wisdom, the West is statistically less likely to be awake early in the morning than the East. Kerry people are most inclined to remain under the duvet the longest, with Dingle almost matching Dublin 4 in its lack of enthusiasm for an early start.

A total of 365,369 workers left home before 7am, up from 272,864 in the 2011 Census. A total of 166,712 people leave home before 6.30am, an increase of 47,111 over the five years. Just over 68 per cent of these early commuters weremen. More women than men travelled to work between the 8am and 9am time slots (women making up 57.2 per cent). The number of workers leaving after 9.30 a.m. increased by only 2.1 per cent, from 184,701 to 188,565 between 2011 and 2016.