Census 2022 to gather valuable new information to support public policy

Sunday 3 April is Census Night

Census 2022, which takes place in just over two weeks, will capture information on a range of new topics. It will provide vital information for the planning of public policy and services and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is encouraging everyone in Ireland to prepare for Census Night on 3 April.

Following an extensive consultation process in advance of this year’s census a total of eight questions have been added to the census form. This will provide policy makers with new data to inform policies and priorities in the years ahead.

The questions added to Census 2022 cover the following areas:

  • Renewable energy sources in homes: To help inform policy development in the areas of energy and climate action.
  • Internet access and devices: To understand the availability of and need for internet access, and (changes in) the devices we use to access the internet
  • Childcare: To provide a clearer picture of the types of childcare being used today
  • Working from home: To inform the development of employment policies.
  • Volunteering: To quantify the numbers of volunteers, as well as the areas and types of organisations in which they volunteer.
  • Smoke alarms: These are a key factor in reducing fires and fire damage in homes. This  will help build an understanding of their use and availability.
  • Tobacco usage: to provide a picture of the prevalence of smoking in our population.
  • The time individuals usually leave work, education or childcare: To help identify and plan for transport pattern needs locally and nationally.

Eileen Murphy the Head of Census Administration outlined the value of this new information. “Every census provides vital information, but this year we have added some really interesting new questions. These will help inform the development of key areas of public policy.

“To prepare for census night on 3 April every household should familiarise themselves with these questions. If they are unsure about how to answer them the census website – census.ie – provides advice and assistance.”

Work is already underway to research and test questions with a view to adding them to the next census. This includes questions on the topics of gender identity and sexual orientation which are currently being tested by the CSO and it is anticipated that these will be added to future censuses. It is expected that a public consultation on new questions for the next census will take place before the end of the year.