About the Census

What is the Census?

The census is a detailed account of everybody who is in the country on census night. On 10 April everybody in Ireland is required to enter their details on a census form.

The importance of the census is that it accounts for everybody in the country no matter where they are. The results provide invaluable information on not only population size for the country as a whole, but also about the make-up of the population of towns, villages, and other small areas across the country. As well as collecting information on the age and sex of the population, a range of  different questions relating to households and individuals are also asked such as where and what people work at, how people travel to work, school and college, languages spoken, disabilities, families, housing and lots more.

When is the next Census?

The census will take place on Sunday 10 April 2011.
Enumerators will deliver census forms to every household in the country in the weeks leading up census day, and return to collect them in the 3 weeks after census day.

Who conducts the Census?

The census is conducted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).  The CSO is an independent Office established in 1949. It operates under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach to guarantee its statistical independence and the confidentiality of the data it collects.

A major undertaking for the CSO

The census is the largest statistical operation undertaken by the CSO. It is also the most exacting, since the fieldwork must be completed over a relatively short period and a thorough account of everybody in the country on census night must be obtained.

How the census is conducted?

There are a number of steps that must be undertaken to conduct a census. The 2011 process started in 2008 with a public consultation about the questions that should be included on the census and will be completed with the publication of the final results in late 2012 – a full 5 years from start to finish. These are the major steps taken in the census process. 

  • Legal basis for the census
  • The census form
  • Designation [geography]
  • Recruitment and staffing of the census
  • Census day 10th April
  • Processing
  • Publications