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Computers now in 75pc of all homes in Ireland

BROADBAND use in homes has risen by more than 40pc -- with 75pc of all households now owning a computer.

The census results showed 65pc of households have broadband. However, there was still an urban rural divide with 70pc of the State's urban households accessing the high-speed internet connection in comparison with 56pc of rural homes.

The number of homes with no internet connection fell from 50pc in 2006 to 26pc in 2011.

Seamus Boland, of Irish Rural Link, said broadband provision had improved but the countryside continued to lag far behind the services on offer in cities.

"Small enterprises in rural areas are suffering badly as they don't have the broadband necessary to maintain or provide new jobs. When they are looking to set up new businesses, they don't ask about electricity or water provision -- they ask about broadband."

In line with the fall-off in employment, the number of commuters also dropped from 1.79m to 1.7m over the five years. The only mode of transport used by commuters to rise was cycling -- an extra 3,500, or 39,800, now pedal their way to work.

Almost 13,000 fewer people are driving, yet, the numbers travelling on public transport has also dropped off.

On average, it takes a person 26.6 minutes to travel to their workplace. A total of 56pc of journeys took 30 minutes or less. Almost 273,000 workers left home before 7am, while almost 120,000 left before 6.30am. A total of 68pc of those early commuters were men.

It also emerged that students are less likely to walk to school or college. The trend has continued with six in 10 primary pupils being driven to school, while one in eight go by bus.

The car is also the main mode of transport for both second- and third-level students.

Irish Independent