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CensusAtSchool 11 Results (2011/2012) Print

Did you know that 30% of the students who did our survey last year sleep with their phone under their pillow? It's true! Have a look at the published findings and you'll see some interesting data. In total 7,150 secondary school students from 216 schools completed the 2011/2012 CensusAtSchool questionnaire between August 2011 and August 2012.

The questionnaire covered a variety of topics ranging from what students have for breakfast, the types of sports activity they participate in and where they keep their mobile phones. Have a read of the results below to see the stories the data tells. 

: The Central Statistics Office(CSO) published a special release of the highlights from these results on 24/10/2012.


CensusAtSchool 11 --- Results and Analysis

Interesting findings from the CensusAtSchool 11 results:

  • 30% of respondents of the 2011/12 survey stated they kept their mobile phones under their pillow while sleeping (chart 1).
  • The most popular time of the morning to get out of bed was between 7.30am and 8.00am (chart 4)
  • 53% of respondents indicated they eat cereal for breakfast. Toast (17%) and cooked breakfast (6%) were the next most popular choices (chart 6).
  • Football (14%) was the most popular participation sport followed by Gaelic football (13%) and Basketball (9%) (Chart 9).
  • Usain Bolt (34%) was the most popular choice when students were asked to name a famous Olympian. The next most popular and also the first Irish sportsperson to be named was Sonia O’Sullivan (13%) (chart 11).



Chart 1  Phone Location While Sleeping

30% of students sleep with their phone under their pillow.

Phone Location While Sleeping

Chart 2 Which of the following would you rather have?

Overall 37% of all respondents to the survey indicated “skill” to be their preferred attribute. A greater proportion of female students (44%) preferred skill than male students (29%).

Preferred Skills


Chart 3 Where did you keep your mobile phone last night when you were asleep?

A greater percentage of female students (35%) sleep with their phones under their pillows than male students (23%).

Phone Location - Male + Female


Chart 4 What time did you get out of bed this morning?

The majority of students indicated they rise out of bed each morning between 7.30 am and 7.59 am (33 %).

 Getting out of bed


Chart 5a On a school day, do you eat breakfast?

Eating breakfast


Chart 5b Students who don't eat breakfast by gender and school year

In Chart 5b, we look more closely at the profile of students who stated they do not eat breakfast. The chart shows a higher percentage of female students miss breakfast than males.

Don't eat breakfast by gender and year


Chart 6 What do you eat for breakfast? 

Cereal was respondents' most popular breakfast at 53%. Porridge which was not listed specifically on the survey was mentioned as the most popular other type of breakfast. In addition to breakfast, the survey indicated that on average male students consume 3.9 portions of fruit a day. Female students consume an average of 3.6 portions a day.

Breakfast Content


Chart 7 Will you compete in your school's sports day?

 Sports Day Attendance


Chart 8 How much sport or exercise did you do in school last week? And how much sport or exercise did you do out of school last week?

57% of students that answered the question on the survey indicated they had participated in a competitive sport in school last year. In contrast, 65% indicated they had been involved in out of school sports activity. Chart 7 shows the amount of exercise that students are participating in each week classified by school or non-school exercise.



Chart 9 What sporting activities have you taken part in during the last year?

Respondents listed 24 sports. The top 10 choices are shown below.
Fav Sports

Chart 10 Can you ride a bike or swim 25 metres?

Bike and Swimming

Chart 11 Famous Olympians and the events they were famous for

Usain Bolt was the most popular Olympian to be named in the survey followed by Sonia O’Sullivan and Michael Phelps. 85% of respondents correctly listed Athletics as his Olympic discipline. 15% of respondents listed 21 other sports they felt Bolt had competed in ranging from Archery to Taekwondo.


Chart 12 How much time did you spend playing motion-controlled games?

There was a significant difference in the use of motion-controlled games depending on the sex of the respondent with female students indicating they spend less time on games each week than their male equivalents.

 Playing of Computer Games

Chart 13  Distribution of height of respondents



Female: Basic Statistical Measures





Std Deviation











Interquartile Range




Male: Basic Statistical Measures





Std Deviation











Interquartile Range



Chart 14a  Box Plot of School Year by Height

Box Plot Female Height by School Year

Box Plot Male Height by School Year


Chart 14b Scatterplot of Student Height vs Arm Span



7,150 secondary school attendees from 216 schools completed the CensusAtSchool 11 questionnaire between August 2011 and August 2012. Because the survey is voluntary and not part of a random or structured sampling process, the results are unsuitable for making inferences about the overall secondary school student population.

Student Response Ratio to Student Population by Administrative County
The map below shows the rate of participation of the CensusAtschool 11 questionnaire with respect to the student population of the administrative county where the student’s schools are located.

 Responses by County

Footnote: The map only includes survey responses where the roll number on the questionnaire response matched a school roll number supplied by the Department of Education and Skills.


Item Response to Questionnaire

The chart below that entered the survey, 91% of individuals completed question 1A of the questionnaire. In contrast 67% of the individuals continued through the questionnaire to complete question 21. The highlighted areas on the chart show events that appear to have affected the response rates, e.g., respondents moving to a new page of the questionnaire corresponded with a more significant drop in the individual response rates

 Response rate by question






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