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 was in April 2016. The next census was planned to take place on 18 April 2021. This has been moved to 3 April 2022 because of COVID-19.
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. This includes:
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.
After census night, the enumerators will call back to collect the completed forms.
The most recent census was in 2016. It established that Ireland’s population, at that time, was 4,757,976 persons. This was a 3.7% increase on the 2011 census.
For more information on the results of previous censuses, visit the CSO website.
The next census in 2022
The next census will take place on 3 April 2022. This is a year later than planned because of COVID-19.
Following a consultation process and pilot survey, the CSO announced the introduction of eight new questions for the next census.
They will relate to:
- 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.
Further information and contacts
There is more information available on the Central Statistics Office website.