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Census night: The country is filling out census forms tonight – here’s what you need to know


Census 2022 takes place on Sunday 3 April with over 1.7m forms delivered to date to homes around the country

Census 2022 takes place on Sunday 3 April with over 1.7m forms delivered to date to homes around the country

Census 2022 takes place on Sunday 3 April with over 1.7m forms delivered to date to homes around the country

Census night takes place tonight, Sunday, April 3. Here we answer some of your top questions.

Q1: So what happens if I am away from home on census night?

A: Everyone should complete, or be included on a census from, wherever they sleep on census night, Sunday, April 3.

The advice is: “If you or your household are staying at a different location within Ireland on census night, please make sure that you complete your census form in this location."

If a member of the household is away from home on census night they should be included in the absent person’s section at the back of the form, regardless of whether they are in the country or abroad.

If you are in a hotel, guesthouse, hospital or other communal establishment, the advice is to ensure you have been provided with a census form and complete it there.

Q2: Can I fill out the form online?

A: No, but the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is working to provide an internet option for the next census. Your completed forms will be collected between April 4 and May 6 by an enumerator.

Q3: Question 18 asks about whether I smoke tobacco products – what would this incorporate?

A: The advice is: do not include e-cigarettes, vapes, nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, spray or snuff.

But do include all tobacco products such as cigarettes, pipes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars or cigarillos.

The answers given will help provide a national picture of smoking levels in the population.

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Q4: Question 19 refers to “how do you usually travel to work, school, college, or childcare”. But I don’t just use one mode of transport, so what should I say?

A: For people using more than one type of transport, mark the box for the type of transport taken for the longest part of the journey. For people with more than one job, give details of the journey times relating to your main job, where your main job is the one where you spend the most time.

For people without a fixed place of work who report to a fixed address at the beginning of their work period – for example, bus drivers, airline crew, operators or street market stalls that are not removed at the end of the workday – refer to that address when giving journey details.

Q5: So when will we get a look at the first results from the census?

A: The first results will be published on June 24. These will include initial figures for Ireland’s total population on census night. But the first official report, the Census 2022 summary report, won’t be published until April 2023. Further results will be published up to December 2023. The results will be published on separate themes such as housing, population by age and geographical spread.

Q6: So the 2022 census is available in English and Irish and available to view in or download in 22 other languages. Are there any rules about what language it has to be filled out in?

A: The translations are for information and guidance only. Forms must be completed in either English or Irish.

Q7: So do I have to fill out the census form?

A: By law, everybody in Ireland on census night must be included in the census. The Statistics Act 1993 is the basic legislation covering all surveys carried out by the CSO, including the census. Section 25 of the Act enables the Taoiseach to make orders requiring people to provide information under the Act. Everyone present in Ireland on April 3 must be included on a census form.

Q8: So what kind of thing will people put in the “Time Capsule” section. It’s optional, and in 100 years – 2122 – it will be made available to the public.

A: There are no hard and fast rules on this. It is for handwritten messages and no photos are allowed. One idea suggested is to write a message for future generations of your family. Family recipes and drawings are other options. It is the first form that offers this opportunity. The census team put together a few sentence starters to consider if you are stuck for ideas like: “A typical day for me in 2022 starts off with...” or “My favourite thing about living in Ireland in 2022 is...” Families and households are advised to spend some time over the coming days to have a think about what message they want to put in it.

Q9: I haven’t received a form yet. What should I do?

To date, more than 1.7 million forms have been delivered and this will continue right up to census night. However, the CSO said there have been challenges with accessing apartments, gated communities and delivering to homes with locked postboxes. If you haven’t received a form, but have a calling card from your enumerator, make contact with them. If you have not had any contact from an enumerator, contact the CSO on the helpdesk form on its website: census.ie or call them on 0818 2022 04.

Q10: Any tips on how to fill out the form?

A: Forget about brightly coloured pens – when it comes to the forms, black or blue pen is what is advised. Mark boxes with a dash rather than a tick. And it may seem obvious, but write clearly using block capitals and only enter one letter per box. When it is done, keep in a safe place for collection. All forms should be collected before May 6.

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