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Explainer: Census 2022 will take place in one month’s time – here is what you need to know

  • This census features a number of new questions including renewable energy sources, childcare, smoking and working from home
  • 'No religion' will now be the first choice on the form in response to question about religious beliefs
  • Ireland’s next census will take place on Sunday 3 April

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'This census features a number of new questions including renewable energy sources, childcare, smoking and working from home.' Pictured: An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Mya and Zara Akinsowon, both aged 8 from Baldoyle, Co. Dublin. Picture Jason Clarke.

'This census features a number of new questions including renewable energy sources, childcare, smoking and working from home.' Pictured: An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Mya and Zara Akinsowon, both aged 8 from Baldoyle, Co. Dublin. Picture Jason Clarke.

'This census features a number of new questions including renewable energy sources, childcare, smoking and working from home.' Pictured: An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Mya and Zara Akinsowon, both aged 8 from Baldoyle, Co. Dublin. Picture Jason Clarke.

Ireland’s next census will take place one month from today on Sunday 3 April and will include new questions on childcare and working from home,

Launching Census 2022, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said that this year’s census will generate a detailed picture of social and living conditions in Ireland.

A team of 5,100 enumerators has commenced the process of delivering over 2m forms to every household in the country.

These forms must be completed on census night and will be collected by an enumerator before 6 May. Everyone present in Ireland on 3 April must be included on a census form.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said at the launch this morning: “The census, by counting every single person present in Ireland, provides a uniquely comprehensive account of our population. It is far more than a simple counting exercise, the census asks a variety of questions that give us the information that is vital for the planning of public services.

"There is not a single decision taken, on the provision of public services from health to education and housing, that is not shaped in some way by census data.”

Meanwhile, Pádraig Dalton, Director General of the CSO said: “This census features a number of new questions including renewable energy sources, childcare, smoking and working from home. This will add to the immense value the census provides.”

Mr Dalton emphasised the privacy of the information collected in the census. “We value privacy and are fully committed to protecting the information of every single census form. Everyone participating can be reassured that the information they provide is confidential, will only be reported as aggregate data, and will not be released to any third party or government agency.”

According to the CSO website, the new questions for Census 2022 follows on from a consultation process in late 2017 inviting views on changes to the census form. It chose a range of areas which broadly represent the population of Ireland. 

Among the new topics in the household section of the questionnaire, include a question on how many working smoke alarms are in your accommodation; and what type of internet connection the household has. Another new question relates to what time people usually leave for work, school, college or childcare.

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Another question relates to whether people engage in voluntary work. Many other questions, for example those on religion have also been changed to varying degrees.

When people are asked about their religious beliefs, 'no religion' will be the first choice on the form followed by Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Islam, Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian and Other.

In 2016, no religion was last on that list.

Meanwhile, Eileen Murphy, Head of Census Administration also provided practical advice to people preparing for Census 2022. “An enumerator will call to your home in the coming days or weeks to deliver your census form. They will be wearing easily identifiable clothing and carry a census ID badge. Please support the census by facilitating your form’s delivery.

“When your census form arrives keep it in a safe place to fill it out on the evening of 3 April. Please read the instructions carefully, fill it out in a blue or black pen. If you have any questions your enumerator can help.”

Census forms are available in Irish and English while guides are also available in another 22 languages to assist those for whom Irish or English is not a first language.

The census is the largest statistical operation undertaken by the CSO.

This will be the 26th census since 1841. The completed forms will be collected between 4 April and 6 May.

The CSO is legally independent, and all the data it collects is kept confidential.

A range of additional accessibility supports and ‘how to’ guides are available on census.ie.


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