Each question in detail

Question 1 – What is your name?

Your name is asked in order to make sure that everyone in the household is included and to assist the householder in ensuring that the correct personal information for each individual is recorded. The name also helps identify where forms are missing or duplicated. Names are also used to assist in the identification of family groups within households.

Individual names on the census forms are not captured as part of the data capture and processing. This provides an added layer of protection to the confidentiality of individual information.

Question 2 – Sex?

Almost all information collected on the census form is analysed by age and sex.

2006 Census

MalesFemalesTotal
2,121,171 2,118,677 4,239,848

Question 3 – What is your date of birth?

Date of birth is used to calculate age which is then analysed against all other social, economic and demographic variables on the census form. Analysis of the age profile of the population is used to target the delivery of health, education, social welfare, housing and other community services.

Year   Average Age (years)
1986            31.8
1991            33.0
1996            34.1
2002            35.1
2006            35.6

Question 4 – What is your relationship to other persons in the household?

The responses to question 4 allow for the formation of family units within households, which is used to understand the social and living patterns within Ireland. Analysis of the data is essential in planning housing and social welfare programmes. The multiple categories of relationship enables families in multi-generational households, skip-generation households and families  which have been reconstituted following the break up of previous marriages, all to be determined.





 Private households by composition20022006Change
Thousands%
One person 277.6  329.5      18.7
Couple   211.4   269.5       27.5
Couple with children   489.5   517.3         5.7
Lone parent with children   131.2   152.5       16.2
Couple with other persons     17.2    23.9       39.0
Couple with children and other persons     44.3    31.7      -28.4
Lone parent with children and other persons       9.4    17.2      -11.3
Two or more family units      5.7    20.3 256.1
Year      Average size of household
(persons)
1986                      3.53
1991                      3.34
1996                      3.14
2002                      2.94
2006                      2.81

Question 5 – What is your current marital status?

Marital status is a core demographic variable and is closely linked to understanding family and household formation, population growth, population projections. Changing patterns in co-habitation, divorce and separation are also closely analysed. For more information on civil partnerships please click here

This question should only be answered by those aged 15 or over.

Population by marital status, 2006
Single  2,317,676
Married
of which
 1,565,016
First marriage  1,523,527
Remarried following widowhood              9,694
Remarried following dissolution of previous marriage      31,795
Separated    107,263
Divorced      59,534
Widowed    190,359
Total 4,239,848

Question 6 – What is your place of birth?

Data on the place of birth of the population is used to understand patterns in long and short-term migration and the characteristics of migrants in terms of age, sex, education, occupation, etc.





 

 

Usually resident population by place of birth, 2002-2006

Place of birth   2002   2006
%
County of usual residence     69.9        65.0
Other county     19.7        20.4
Northern Ireland       1.3          1.2
Great Britain       5.1          5.3
Other EU       0.9          4.0
USA       0.6          0.6
Other countries       2.5          2.5
Total  100.0   100.0

Question 7 – Where do you usually live?

The key strength of census data is the ability to analyse all the results at small geographic level; the answers to question 7 are essential to this. Those people who are not at home on census night are asked to provide the full address of their usual residence which allows an accurate profile of the usually resident population to be built up. Population by age, sex and regional authority area is the basis for the annual population estimates and for the population projections.  The results are also used to determine changes to electoral boundaries.

 



Question 8 – Where did you usually live one year ago?

By comparing where people lived one year before the census with where they live at census time we get an accurate picture of internal and external migration within the previous year. Further analysis by nationality, place of birth, age and sex provides essential data used to understand migration patterns.


 

 

 

Question 9 – Have you lived outside the Republic of Ireland for a continuous period of one year or more?

The information collected in this question is used to establish migration patterns, which, combined with nationality, sex, age and economic status, provides a detailed picture of who immigrated to Ireland by year of arrival since the last census and their reasons for doing so.

 

 

 



Question 10 – What is your nationality?

Nationality is now a key demographic variable on the census and is analysed in conjunction with age, sex and economic status to provide invaluable information on the profile of the population at small area level. The information is used by a broad spectrum of local, community and government based organisations.

 

 

Question 11 – What is your ethnic or cultural background?

Ethnicity is listed as one of the nine grounds for discrimination under equality legislation in Ireland. The information on ethnicity gathered in this question enables an analysis of the population by social and living conditions, employment, occupation, education and a whole range of other social and demographic variables.

Usual residents by ethnic or cultural background, 2006%
Irish         87.4
Irish Traveller   0.5
Any other white background    6.9
African      1.0
Any other black background    0.1
Chinese      0.4
Any other Asian background    0.9
Other     1.1
Not stated      1.7
Total     

 100.0

Question 12 – What is your religion?

Religion is an important demographic variable and will be analysed closely along with other demographic variables in the context of diversity including nationality, ethnicity, and foreign languages. The religions listed have been chosen to cover the most frequent responses given in the 2006 census. This question does not refer to frequency of attendance at church. People should respond to this question according to how they feel now about their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Population classified by religion, 2006 Thousands
Roman Catholic              3,681.4
Church of Ireland          125.6
Presbyterian             23.5
Methodist         12.2
Jewish           1.9
Other religions       138.5
No religion        186.3
Not stated           70.3
Total       4,239.8

Question 13 – How many children have you given birth to?

The answers to question 13 allow an assessment to be made of  the factors impacting the fertility rate of women in Ireland, i.e. the extent to which fertility will vary with educational attainment, labour market status etc.

Question 14 – Can you speak Irish?

Question 14 will provide information to help in the monitoring of the development of the Irish language. In particular, the results will enable policy planners to assess how language proficiency and usage, in daily life and less frequently, varies with age and education participation.  The usage of the language will be assessed by social class, level of education, and area, Gaeltacht or otherwise.  

Irish speakers and non-Irish speakers 1991-2006

 1991  1996  2002  2006 
Thousands
Irish speakers   1,095.8   1,430.2   1,570.9   1,656.8
Non-Irish speakers    2,271.2   2,049.4   2,180.1   2,400.9
Total   3,367.0   3,479.6   3,751.0   4,057.7

Question 15 – Do you speak a language other than English or Irish at home?

Question 15 is a new question in census 2011.  It was tested in the pilot survey in 2009, having been supported for inclusion by several bodies including the Department of Education and Skills and the ESRI. The question will act as an important measure of integration; it will provide data on who speaks a language other than English or Irish at home and this will be analysed against other factors that indicate broader participation in society (at work, in education etc. ).  It will also provide information on how well English is spoken by people who have a language other than English as their mother tongue. The information will be available for all age groups including school children and can be used to target state resources in areas such as education and health to support people who may struggle speaking English.

Question 16 – Do you have any of the following long-lasting conditions or difficulties?

The results of questions 16 and 17 coupled with other questions will provide important data on the number of people whose activities are reduced because of a disability and the effect of the disability on their lives.  The questions are slightly different to those asked in 2006.  In question 16, vision and hearing impairments have been separated and there is a separate category for intellectual disabilities. The questions were chosen after pre-census consultation with experts from the various disability umbrella bodies and government departments.

 

 

 

 

Question 17 – It you answered “Yes” to question 16, do you have any difficulty in doing any of the following?

The results of questions 16 and 17 coupled with other questions will provide important data on the number of people whose activities are reduced because of a disability and the effect of the disability on their lives.  The questions are slightly different to those asked in 2006.  The questions were chosen after pre-census consultation with experts from the various disability umbrella bodies and government departments.

 

 

 

Question 18 – How is your health in general?

Question 18 is a new question in Census 2011. It asks each person how their health is in general. Studies show strong links between how people view their health and the actual state of their health.  The answers to this question will provide a country-wide picture of people’s health and how it is related to various factors such as age, labour market position and educational attainment.

 

 

Question 19 – How do you usually travel to work, school or college?
Question 20 – What time do you usually leave home to go to work, school or college?
Question 21 – How long does your journey to work, school or college usually take?

The answers to questions 19, 20 and 21 on means of travel, time of leaving home, and duration of journey, will be analysed in conjunction with the address where people work or go to school/college. The results will provide valuable information on commuting patterns for planning public transport services and infrastructure.  Usual means of travel will identify the different modes of transport used by commuters. Time of leaving home will provide information on the volume of commuter travel by transport type at different times of the day.  Usual travel time will give information on the efficiency of various modes of transport.

Means of travel to work, school or college

2002- 2006

2002   2006 
%
On foot          11.4    10.9
Bicycle            2.1      1.9
Bus      6.7      6.1
Train         2.1      2.9
Motor cycle      1.1      0.7
Car driver       55.1    57.1
Car passenger      6.7      5.5
Other (incl. Lorry/van)      7.1      7.8
Work mainly at home       6.1      5.6
Not stated         1.7      1.6
Total   100.0   100.0

Question 22 – Do you provide regular unpaid personal help for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem or disability?

The results of question 22 will facilitate assessment of the extent to which unpaid personal help is provided by carers in our society, along with the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the carers themselves. Carers in receipt of carer’s allowance or benefit will be included as unpaid carers. This question is being asked of children for the first time in order to assess the extent to which children act as carers in our society.

 

Question 23 – If you are aged under 15 go to Question 34.

Children are not required to answer the questions on education and work. They are directed to the question on name and address of place of school.

Question 24 – Have you ceased your full-time education?

The replies to questions 24 and 25 will be used to monitor the impact of education policies, changing skill levels and the extent to which people use their formal qualifications. 



Question 25 – What is the highest level of education/training (full-time or part-time) which you have completed to date?

Regular information on skills levels is necessary to monitor whether training being offered meets the needs of the labour market.  The government and employers use this data to evaluate whether there are enough people with the required education and training in particular areas of the work force.  The information is used in developing new programmes to meet the changing needs of the work force. 

For more information on international educational qualifications please click on the following links here and here.

For more details on FETAC click here.

For more details on HETAC click here

Highest level of education completed by those who have completed their education 2002-2006

  20022006
Thousands
Primary (incl no formal education)  552.2  514.1
Lower secondary      565.4  573.4
Upper secondary      724.1  803.5
3rd level
Non-degree  
 250.4  301.3
Degree or higher    396.4  527.8
Not stated     133.9  130.2
Still at school/college   350.8  349.6
Total 3,089.8 3,375.4

Question 26 – What is the main field of study of the highest qualification you have completed to date?

This question formerly only asked about third level qualifications and for the first time in 2011 asks all persons about the field of study of their highest qualification. The results will provide a detailed picture of the skills and qualifications of the entire population which is necessary to monitor whether training being offered meets the needs of the labour market.  The government and employers will use this data to evaluate skills shortages in the work force and to identify availably resources of readily trained people.

Question 27 – How would you describe your present principal status?

Question 27 is the basis of all economic analysis available from the census as it categorises everybody according to their principal economic status. The results provide detailed data on levels of unemployment at small area level  and allows the classification of all persons aged 15 years and over into those within and outside the labour force.

Population aged 15 years and over by principal economic status 2002-2006 2002 2006
Thousands
At work    1,641.6  1,930.0
Looking for first regular job     21.1       29.4
Unemployed        138.2     150.1
Total labour force     1,801.0  2,109.5
Student            350.8     349.6
Looking after home/family     439.0     387.0
Other      499.1     529.3
Total non labour force      1,288.8  1,265.9

Question 28 – If you are working, unemployed or retired go to Question 29.
If you are a student go to Question 34
Otherwise go to Question 35.

Only those persons who are working are required to provide information on their industry and occupation and place of work. Retired persons are asked about their former occupation only in order to assign a social class to their household. Unemployed persons are asked about their occupation and industry in order to produce a detailed profile of the unemployed at small area level. Only persons who travel outside the home to work school or college are asked to provide the name and address of where they go.

Question 29 – Do (did) you work as an employee or are (were) you self-employed in your main job?

Question 29 is used to assign social class to all at work - now or formerly. Social class is a key economic variable and is used in the analysis of many other variables on the census form such as disability, marital breakdown, area, education, among others.

Employment status of  persons at work 2002-2006  2002  2006
Thousands
Employer / own account worker     277.0    308.2
Employee 1,359.2 1,616.3
Assisting relative 5.4 5.5
Total 1641.6 1930.0

Question 30 – What is (was) your occupation in your main job?

The census provides a detailed picture of the occupations of the entire population and is widely used by analysts and government in understanding the economic infrastructure of Ireland. Information is made available at a very detailed level both for occupation groups, and geographic areas and is a key part of the information infrastructure of the country.

Persons at work by occupation group 2002-2006 2002   2006
%
Farming, fishing and forestry     5.3    4.2
Manufacturing 12.5  11.6
Building and construction         7.6    8.7
Clerical, managing and government 17.7  17.3
Communication and transport    5.7    5.4
Sales and commerce   13.3  13.5
Professional, technical and health care 16.3  16.2
Services     9.5  10.7
Other  10.9  10.9
Looking for first regular job      1.2    1.4
Total (Labour force) 100.0 100.0

Question 31 – if you are retired go to Question 35.

Retired persons are not required to answer the questions on the business of their employer and name and address of place of work.

Question 32 – What is (was) the business of your employer at the place where you work(ed) in your main job?

The census provides a detailed picture of the industrial sectors of the economy and is widely used by analysts and government in understanding the economic infrastructure of Ireland. Information is made available at a very detailed level both for industrial groups, and geographic areas and is a key outputs of the census.

Guidelines on answering Question 32

  • It is vitally important that a detailed description is given
  • This question should only be answered by those at work or unemployed
  • It need not be answered by those who are retired
  • Answers should be in precise terms, eg :
Inadequate Response      Possible Correct Response
Computers Making computers
Cars Repairing cars
Education Primary education
Food Bread wholesaler
Pharmaceuticals Making pharmaceuticals
Cleaning Contract office cleaning
Software Software development and support
Recreation Swimming pool
Local Authority Local Authority Cleaning Department
Local Authority Library Service
Local Authority Housing Department

Question 33 – If you are unemployed go to Question 35.

Unemployed persons are not required to answer the question on name and address of place of work.

Question 34 – What is the full name and address of your place of work, school or college?

The answer to this question will assist in identifying where people work and the industries they are employed in. More importantly the answers to this question will provide a detailed picture of the commuting patterns of everybody who travels to work, school or college. The data is widely used in analysing transport needs and in planning transport infrastructure. 

Household Question 1 – What type of accommodation does your household occupy?

The results from this question will help build a picture of the type of housing stock in the country, and what types of accommodation are prevalent in certain areas. It also enables an analysis of types of
accommodation by people of different ages, nationalities, educational attainment etc.

Private household accommodation types 2006Thousands
Detached house      625,988
Semi-detached house    398,360
Terraced house    257,522
Flat/apartment in a purpose built house    109,866
Flat/apartment in a converted house or commercial building      30,006
Bed-sit        8,751
Caravan/mobile home/temporary structure        7,225
Not stated      31,803
Total 1,469,521

Household Question 2 – When was your house, flat or apartment first built?

This question will provide data on the age of the housing stock across the country and is used to determine depreciation rates of housing as part of macro-economic estimates. It will provide detailed information on the housing stock by small area and year built which is essential in understanding Ireland’s housing provision and needs.

Years in which private dwellings were built, 2006%
Before 1919 10.6
1919-1940   7.4
1941-1960   9.7
1961-1970   7.7
1971-1980 14.5
1981-1990 11.4
1991-1995   6.4
1996-2000 10.6
2001 or later    17.1
Not stated   4.7
Total    100.0

Household Question 3 – Does your household own or rent your accommodation?

Housing tenure is an essential component in understanding housing provision. The data gathered in this question also plays an important role in the compilation of macro-economic estimates as part of the national accounts.

Private dwellings nature of occupancy, 2006Thousands
Owner occupied    1,068.4
Being purchased from a Local Authority        23.5
Rented from a Local Authority         105.5
Rented from a Voluntary Body        50.5
Private rented unfurnished        16.6
Private rented furnished      128.7
Occupied rent free        21.7
Not stated        47.3
Total 1,462.3

Household Question 4 – If your accommodation is rented, how much rent does your household pay?

Taken together the data from this question and question H3 are used in the compilation of the annual National Accounts, from which the GDP and GNP figures are taken.

Household Question 5 – How many rooms do you have for use only by your household?

The results to this question will allow a comparison of how many rooms households have available to them in their dwelling.  This will facilitate comparisons with past censuses, across the country and across various demographic and social groups.

Household Question 6 – What is the main type of fuel used by the central heating in your accommodation?

This is an expanded version of the home heating question asked in Census 2006.  The householder is now required to indicate the type of central heating, if any, which is used in the dwelling. The results of this question will provide more information on the nature of the fuel types which are used by home heating systems in Ireland and the results will be used in the development of energy policy planning in Ireland.

Household Question 7 – What type of piped water supply does your accommodation have?

This question is used to provide information on the nature of the piped water supply used in dwellings across the state. Together with question 8, this provides useful information for local authorities and planning bodies involved in housing policy and planning.

Household Question 8 – What type of sewerage facility does your accomodation have?

The results of this question will indicate the type of sewerage systems used in dwellings. Together with question 7, this provides useful information for local authorities and planning bodies involved in housing policy and planning.

Household Question 9 – How many cars or vans are owned or are available for use by one or more members of your household?

The results of this question will provide a detailed picture of the number of cars available to private households in Ireland.

Household Question 10 – Does your household have a personal computer (PC)?

This question establishes the level of PC ownership. The results will provide an important gauge of the uptake of information technology around the country. The results will allow a comparison to be drawn between PC ownership levels during the previous census.

Private household PC Ownership 2002-2006   2002  2006
%
PC ownership   43.4   56.6
No PC Ownership   54.5   41.0
Not stated     2.1     2.4

Household Question 11 – Does your household have access to the Internet?

This question establishes the level of access to internet services. The results will provide an important measure of the level of broadband penetration around the country and can be analysed by small geographic area, social class, age and level of education among others. 

Private household Internet access 2002-20062002  2006
%
Internet Access   34.1   46.7
No Internet Access   63.7   48.1
Not stated     2.2     5.2