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One-hour commutes the norm for 6,000 workers

Almost 6000 workers in Westmeath have to travel for over an hour to get to their workplace each day.

That is 15.7 per cent of the 37,866 from the population of the county that travel to work, the latest batch of Census 2022 figures have shown.

Kinnegad workers are particularly affected by long commutes: 27 per cent of them (350) face a commute of at least an hour. Not far behind is Killucan Rathwire, where 24.3 per cent of the workforce (153 people) have similar travel times.

In general, Westmeath workers also come close to the top of the list for distance travelled to work.

Nationally, in terms of travel time, the county is fourth from the top of a table headed by Meath, where 19 per cent of workers travel for over an hour.

Second place is occupied by Wicklow, which has 10,600 of its workers (18.1 per cent), travelling for over an hour.

Third place is shared by Kildare and Laois, in each of which 17.2 per cent of workers have journeys of over an hour.

Car journeys

The car remains king when it comes to commuting to work in this country, and Westmeath doesn’t buck that trend.

The figures show that Westmeath workers spend an average of 30.4 minutes on their journeys to work. Meath commuters top the table in terms of travel time, spending on average 35.2 minutes to get to their workplaces.

The workers with the shortest commute time are those from Galway City, who average a journey time of 22.6 minutes.

Just under 70 per cent of the working population of Westmeath travel to work by car, either as driver or passenger, and a further 8.7 per cent travel by van.

Nationally, the percentage of those travelling to work by car is just over 63 per cent, and a further 7.2 per cent travel by van.

The figures for Westmeath relate to the commuting habits of 37,866 people. Of those, 24,378 (64.4 per cent) drive to work, and 1,907 (5 per cent), travel as car passengers.

As well as the 8.7 per cent (3,302) people who travel by van, some 317 (0.8 percent) travel by ‘other including lorry’.

Walking to work is the norm for 2,897 people in Westmeath (7.7 per cent), and 518 (1.4 per cent) travel by bike.

In terms of public transport, 339 (0.9 per cent) use the train, and 893 (2.4 per cent) travel via bus, minibus or coach. Just 0.2 per cent (76 people) use a motorcycle or scooter.


In 2022, nationally the average distance that commuters travelled to work was 16.8 kilometres, up from 15km in 2016.

The distance is calculated as the straight-line distance between the place of residence and the workplace.

On average, commuters in Laois travelled the furthest to work, and an average journey of 25.3km, followed by Roscommon workers, who had an average journey of 24.9km.

Leitrim occupied third highest position on the table, as journeys averaging 24.2km, and Westmeath was fourth, as journeys are 23.6km on average.

Commuters with the shortest journey to work were those in Dublin City, where the average is 6.8km.


Be kind to your nearest friendly paramedic: their profession had the longest working day among all occupations, at an average of 11.5 hours.

They were closely followed by prison officers (11.2 hours) and gardaí (10.9 hours).

Other occupations with a working day of more than 10 hours included nurses, midwives, crane drivers, senior care workers, security guards, nursing auxiliaries including ambulance staff, production technicians and farmers.

Among all occupations, the average length of a working day was estimated at 8.5 hours, and males on average had a longer working day than females; for those in full-time employment, the hours worked were 8.9 for males and 8.5 for females, while among part-time workers, males worked for an average of 7.6 hours and females for 7 hours.

Work from home

A new question was included in Census 2022 asking people whether they ever worked from home and if so, for how many days per week. Nearly 750,000 people (32 per cent of workers) reported that they worked from home for at least one day a week.

More than half of workers (57 per cent) said that they never worked from home.

Among people who worked from home, 15 per cent did so for one day a week, 17 per cent for two days, 16 per cent for three days, 10 per cent for four days and 33 per cent for five or more days per week.

In Westmeath, there are 11,096 people who work from home and 25,834 who never work from home; 5,147 did not state whether they worked from home.