Public urged to review questions ahead of census night

Topics added to inform planning of public policy and services in years ahead, says CSO

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is urging households to familiarise themselves with new census questions ahead of completing the form on April 3rd.

Several new topics have been added to Census 2022 to inform planning of public policy and services in the years ahead, said the CSO.

The questions cover a range of environmental, employment and lifestyle issues, including the use of renewable energy sources in homes, to help inform policy development in the areas of energy and climate action, and the prevalence of internet access, to understand the availability of and need for internet connections, and the range of devices used to access the internet.

Questions also focus on changes in work patterns. These include the trend of working from home and childcare issues, while questions are also asked about the times individuals usually leave work, education or childcare, to help identify and plan for transport pattern needs locally and nationally.

Other topics covered include volunteering and the type of organisations volunteers choose to support, tobacco usage, and the prevalence of smoke alarms in the home.

"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," said head of census administration Eileen Murphy.

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

Gender row

Questions of gender have already proved controversial in this year’s census , after it emerged that people who choose not to declare themselves as male or female will have a biological sex assigned to them on a random basis. The CSO said it was exploring the issue and already researching potential questions for 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.”