Census of Population
The census of population is a detailed count of every person living in Ireland on a particular date.
It takes place every 5 years and is carried out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The most recent census took place on 3 April 2022.
Under the Statistics Act, everyone in the State must complete or be included on the census form.
Why do we have a census?
The census establishes the population of the State. It also helps the Government to plan how it will provide public services for the population of the State.
The form includes questions on topics such as age, marital status, sex, place of birth, occupation and religion. The results are then used to plan infrastructure in services like public transport, healthcare, housing and education. Local authorities use census information to predict demand on their services and facilities.
The number of seats in Dáil Eireann is also dependent on the results of the census. Under the Constitution, there must be a TD for every 20,000 to 30,000 persons. After each census a Constituency Commission is set up to consider Dáil Eireann and European Parliament constituencies.
How the census is carried out
Teams of enumerators, or supervisors, deliver a census form to every household in the State before census night. Any property where someone might be present on the night of the census also receive a form.
On census night, one person in each household or property must count everyone present and fill out the census form. This includes night visitors and those not usually resident there. A declaration on each form must also be signed.
If there will be no-one present on the night, please inform your enumerator and they will give you a Form E to fill out. The form is available in English and Irish. Information on the census is available in other languages and accessible versions of the form are available if you need them.
After census night, the enumerators will call back to collect the completed forms.
All information given in a census is confidential and can only be used for statistical purposes by the CSO. Your name and address are not entered on any computer database and no other organisation can access the information.
The summary results of the 2022 census were released in May 2023. It established that Ireland’s population was 5,149,139. This was an 8% increase on the 2016 census.
For more information on the results of previous censuses, visit the CSO website.
The most recent census in Ireland took place on 3 April 2022. This was a year later than planned because of COVID-19.
Following a consultation process and pilot survey, the CSO announced the introduction of 8 new questions for this census.
These included questions on:
- Renewable energy sources
- Internet access and devices
- Smoke alarms
- Working from home
- Travelling home from work, school or college
Changes were also agreed to 25 existing questions on disability, ethnic groups, religion and the Irish language.
The census in 2022 included an optional ‘time capsule’ question for the first time. This allowed members of the public to write a confidential message of their choice which will be securely stored for 100 years.
Further information and contacts
There is more information available on the Central Statistics Office website.