National Traveller Survey Funded by The Community Foundation for Ireland

National Traveller Survey Funded by The Community Foundation for Ireland

Posted on October 23, 2017

The Community Foundation for Ireland has provided funding through one of our impact grants to fund the new National Traveller Survey. We felt it was important to fund a second national survey of Travellers as one had not been conducted since 2000. In order for grant making organisations, government and the organisations who work with the Traveller community to make a real impact we must have upto date information on the Traveller community in Ireland. The Community Foundation for Ireland is committed to using the findings from this survey to inform our future grant making in the area of Travellers.

This second ever national survey of Travellers, was carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Traveller representative organisations and researched Travellers throughout Ireland on their views on life for the community and on Health, Identity, Accommodation, Employment, Culture, Education and relations between Travellers and the Settled Community. Dominant concerns for the community were in the mental health, unemployment, accommodation and issues for young married couples. The National Traveller Survey Shows Little Change over the last 17 years with Only 26% of Travellers considering life in general to have got better for them over the last 5-10 years (versus 61% in 2000).

Some headline findings from the survey showed:

  • Mental health

- 90% of Travellers agree that mental health problems are common among the community

- 82% of the community have been affected by suicide. 44% of those affected in their immediate family have also experienced suicide in their wider family.

  • Discrimination

-  77% of Travellers have experienced discrimination in the ‘past year’.

- 43% indicate they have encountered discrimination while accessing employment.

- 70% from the Gardaí, 53% Pub staff, 51% Hotel staff, 45% from Shop staff, 43% from staff at clubs / discos,

- 39% from Housing Authorities.

  • Identity and place:

- 40% of Travellers indicate they or their children have been bullied at school due to their identity.

- 52% Of Travellers said they had experienced an obstacle when accessing employment, of these, 42 % had experienced discrimination as an obstacle for reasons including their identity or being known locally as a Traveller and once discovered to be a Traveller lost their job.

  • Accommodation

3 in 4 Travellers live close to their immediate family; and consider it very important to do so.

- Near half (49%) of the community indicate they have been living in their present location for longer than 7 years (vs 28% in 2000)

- 47% of those in private rented accommodation have been in their present location for up to 2 years.

- Of 4 out of 10 Travellers who had lived in private rented accommodation, 1 in 4 had to leave due to rent increase.

- 48% of Travellers define their ideal place to live as a standalone house or private house (assisted by LA).

- Only 5% of people said they would opt for Private Rented accommodation (Currently 2,222 families are living in Private Rented, mostly not by choice. This is almost sixteen timesthe number of Traveller Families in private rented since 2002)

- Only 1 in 10 of the community still travel (versus 1 in 3 in 2000). 54% of those who did travel stopped doing so at least 10 years ago.

  • Unemployment

- 60% of the community indicate that they are ‘not working’ –  v 62% in 2000.

- 66% of Travellers have experience of a training scheme and 30% of those have gained employment as a result.

- Only 26% of Travellers said the obstacle to their employment was not meeting the required skill level.

- Only 17% of people in the national population survey said they would employ a Traveller

  • Education

The average age for Travellers under 24 years finishing school was before the age of 15 years… (vs. 13.7 years for the full community). 39% completed their Inter/Group Cert in the 2017 research (vs 9% in 2000) and 16% completed Leaving Cert (vs 2% in 2000)

- 40% of Travellers were not satisfied with the education they received but 57% feel the community is well supported by the school system today.For Traveller parents satisfied with their children’s education (63%) levels of satisfaction dropped with children currently in school <12years.

- 4 out of 10 Travellers said they or their children had been bullied in school because of their identity as Traveller

  • Health

​​​​​​​- Only 24% of Travellers assess their own health as being ‘excellent’ with 36% assessing it as poor/very poor. Across a poor overall personal and family health assessment, lifestyle, drugs/alcohol and mental health issues are especially prominent.


To view the summary findings presentation click here.