Census night is here
Published 24/04/2016 | 08:27
Today is the big day! Census Night is upon us and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is reminding people that they must fill out their form this evening and make their mark.
This historical event aligns with another, the actual centenary of the 1916 Rising. The events of the Rising have left a clear mark on Irish history, something we have been celebrating for a number of weeks now. But now, it is your turn to leave your mark. By sharing information in the form of the census, you are helping the Irish government plan for the future. The data is incredibly important for planning for the future needs of the country including healthcare, education and transport. It will give us all a clear picture of Ireland today. You are making your mark in Irish history, so make sure you stand up and be counted. You can join in on the conversation on Twitter with #MakeYourMark.
Filling out the form
Filling out the form may seem daunting, but the layout is self-explanatory. There are two parts to the census form. The first consists of 11 questions relating to the house/flat/apartment etc. you are living in, while the second contains a set of questions that must be answered for everyone in the dwelling on the night of Sunday April 24th. So essentially you first share information about your location and building and then you share information about the people currently at your location.
Most questions require just a simple mark to answer, while for others you simply write in whatever answers are appropriate e.g. date of birth, nationality, language, religion. On page 3 you will find guidance on who to include on the form while on the back page there is advice and assistance on how to answer specific questions; further assistance can be obtained from the enumerator or on the census helpdesk (1850 2016 04). The website (www.census.ie) has an accessibility page containing assistance for those who may have sight, hearing or literacy difficulties, and for those with English language difficulties the form has been translated into 21 foreign languages.
The last census
The last census in Ireland took place on 10th April 2011 and revealed Ireland had a population of 4,588,252. In the five years since the last Census in 2011, it is estimated 750,000 people have migrated to and from the country while up to a million people can be expected to have changed address. Some 300,000 babies have been born and there have been in the region of 125,000 deaths. Using the data gathered from this year’s Census, we will know how these changes have impacted on our overall population and on populations at local level.
How well do you actually know Ireland? Take this quiz to find out.
Did you know, there were more women than men living in Ireland according to the last census? Will that still be the same this time? In 2011, 250,000 people declared themselves to have some religious affiliation. The census also provides population distribution data. Did you know, in 2011, Drogheda was the most densely populated town, and Leitrim was the least densely populated county? Even more interesting is the fact that 17% of our population were born abroad. Will this have changed with the immigration and emigration over the past five years? We'll know once we have all the data collated from the 2016 census.
All data provided in the census form is kept strictly confidential and is used only for statistical compilation and analysis purposes. This confidentiality is guaranteed by the Statistics Act 1993, and all CSO employees working on the census are contractually required to protect and preserve that confidentiality.
Returning your form
Everyone should complete their form on Sunday, and ensure that they then keep it in a safe place, ready for the enumerator. There is a legal requirement to complete the form, and anyone who fails or refuses to do so, or who knowingly gives false information on the form, may be prosecuted and could be fined up to €44,440.
Remember that wherever you are on the evening of the 24th of April is where you must be enumerated and that the information you provide will help provide a clear view of our future needs as a country. #MakeYourMark