Saturday 18 January 2020

CSO warns of problems delivering census form

Enda Kenny speaking at the launch of Census 2016. Photo: Tom Burke
Enda Kenny speaking at the launch of Census 2016. Photo: Tom Burke

Paul Melia

Staff tasked with delivering more than two million census forms are experiencing difficulties delivering them to apartment owners.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has called on management companies to provide enumerators with access to blocks, saying that security measures in place across gated communities were resulting in problems.

The census takes place on Sunday, April 24, but a census form must be hand-delivered to every household in the country, including apartments.

The CSO said that hand-delivery was "essential" so that the agency could guarantee that every household has a form, and to allow householders to ask questions if necessary.

Following the census, the forms must be collected by the census enumerator before they are returned to the CSO for analysis.

"We are hearing from census enumerators that they cannot gain entry to some gated communities," senior statistician Deirdre Cullen said.

"This was a problem for us during the 2011 census, but it seems to be posing a greater challenge this time around. I am calling on the managers of these developments to co-operate with the census enumerator."

Households are legally required to complete a census form on the night, and failure to do so can result in a fine of up to €1,270 on summary conviction, and €25,400 on indictment.

The CSO said that citizens "must be allowed to fulfil this legal duty".

"Apartment managers have an important role to play in facilitating this. Residents of apartment blocks are advised to address the issue with the manager if they have not yet received their census form," Ms Cullen added.

The census is conducted by the CSO every five years, and all data collected is confidential.

The census not only measures population growth across the State, but also the population of towns, villages and other small areas. Other information collected includes the age and sex of citizens, information around travel to work and education, languages spoken, the make-up of families and the type of housing they live in. The data is used to plan public services.

Some 4,661 enumerators are employed, and all carry identification. Their identity can be verified by calling 1850 2016 04, the CSO added.

The first results will be released in July.

Irish Independent

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