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10% of Dublin City residents who commute now choosing their bicycles

At least 10% of Dublin City residents are choosing bicycles as their main mode of commuting transport to work or education, according to Cencus 2016 data released by the CSO this week.

Of the 82,000 of the commuters in Ireland who said they mainly cycled to work or education in the 2016 Cencus a staggering 56,021 or 68% of them live in County Dublin.

Between 2011 and 2016, the largest percentage increases nationally  were in Dublin City and Limerick City of around 50% — the latter from a high base and the former from a low base.

The areas of Fingal County, South Dublin County and Cork City all had an increases of around 40%. While Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County, Galway City, and Waterford City had increases of around 30%.

The numbers of people cycling for commuting is still varyed a lot in the four council areas of County Dublin and around Ireland. The following is a summary by city:

Dublin City and Suburbs
Total pop: 1,173,179 / total defined commuters: 770,240 

7.1% of residents commuters, 54,009 people, in Dublin City and Suburbs used bicycles to get to work or education. The Dublin City and Suburbs area — aka the continuous urban area of the city — includes all of Dublin City, the urban areas of DLRCC and South Dublin, and the urban areas of Fingal which are joined to the city council area (the council areas are also listed separably below). It is a CSO defined area using internationally-agreed definition of what a city is, beyond it’s historic or other administrative boundaries.

Dublin City

Total pop: 527,612 / total defined commuters: 325,366

Residents of Dublin City who cycle as their main means of commuting to work or education has now reached 10% (up from 7.6% since 2011), according to Cencus 2016 data. A total of 34,501 of Dublin City residents (up 48% from 23,265 in 2011) mainly cycled for their commutes — 26,116 workers and 8,385 pupils and students.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County 

Total pop: 206,261 / total defined commuters: 136,344

In the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County area, 9,017 people (up 31% from 6,869) said cycling was their main mode of transport and the cycling modal share is now up to 6.6% (up from 5.8%). The area total is made up of 5,770 workers and 3,247 pupils and students.

South Dublin County

Total pop: 278,767 / total defined commuters: 172,645

In the South Dublin County area, 6,899 people (up 38% from 4,985) said cycling was their main mode of transport and cycling is now up to 4% (from 3.2%) modal share. The area total is made up of 4,761 workers and 2,138 pupils and students.

Fingal County 

Total pop: 296,020 / total defined commuters: 189,910

In the Fingal County area, 5,604 people (up 43% from 3,925) said cycling was their main mode of commuting transport, with cycling representing 3% of modal share. The area total is made up of 3,351 workers and 2,253 pupils and students.


Total pop 78,668 /  total defined commuters: 48,579

In Galway City, 2,961 people (up 28% from 2,314) cycled as their main mode of commuting transport, accounting for 6% of commuters, and made up of 1,877 workers and 1,084 pupils and students.


Total pop: 125,657 / total defined commuters: 71,075

In Cork City, the modal share of cycling was just short of 4%, with 2,667 people who said they cycled as their main mode of commuting transport (up 42% from 1,878). The total is split between 1,848 workers and 819 students and pupils.


Total pop: 94,192 / total defined commuters: 53,587

For Limerick, the “Settlement Limerick City And Suburbs” was used as the old city boundary was not readily available in the data set we accessed (the city and council council are now merged into one). This means the 3% cycling model share for he area may not be comparable to the old city, but the total number of people at 1,620 (split between 980 workers and 640 in education) is up 53% from 1,353 in 2011.


Total pop: 53,504 / total defined commuters: 30,151

Also for Waterford, the “Settlement Limerick City And Suburbs” was used as the old city boundary was not readily available in the data set we accessed (the city and council council are now merged into one). This means the 1.7% cycling model share for he area may not be comparable to the old city, but the total number of people at 520 (split between 399 workers and 121 in education) is up 9.2% from 476 in 2011.

UPDATE: For reference, the Dublin City and Suburbs data was added to this article. is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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  1. The NTA (or whoever it is that organises them) need to have at least 2 counts a year for Dublin. Having just 1 count in November is going to under-estimate numbers who cycle. Many more people cycle in the summer months and this needs to be accounted for.

  2. I can’t help but wonder if, despite hollow sounding rhetoric, the likes of Brendan Carr and Niall Ring aren’t wondering how they can get that number back down to a maneagable amount. Compulsory helmets and high-viz? Legal requirement to use unfit for purpose cycle lanes? Headphone police? Removal of any bikes not locked to one of the (often already fully occupied) sheffield stands?

  3. It’s modest, but a start. Can you imagine how much those statistics would improve if we could have more off-road and segregated cycle tracks? We need to keep pressure up in demanding better cycling infrastructure, more segregated and dedicated cycle lanes, cycle priority at junctions, proper bike parking, and cycling given priority in city centres. These changes will benefit everyone, and make cities cleaner and quieter.


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