Students of Ireland Make your Mark on 10th April

Students of Ireland Make your Mark on 10th April

Wherever you sleep overnight on Sunday April 10th is where you should be included on a census form, whether that’s in your family home, your apartment or if you are staying with a friend.

As you read this, 5,000 Census Enumerators are delivering census forms all over the country. They will be visiting every home, apartment and residence in the country making sure that each has a Census form and that the householder is happy they know how to fill it out.

The Census of Population, to give it its proper title, takes place every five years and the next one will take place on Sunday April 10th.

This is a very important time for Ireland. As a society we are faced now with making crucial decisions about our future and it is imperative that we have accurate and objective information on which to base those decisions. The Census is the most comprehensive and valuable of these information sources.

The Census will give a comprehensive picture of our social and living conditions in 2011. Only a census can provide such complete detail right down to the smallest area and the results are an essential tool for effective policy, planning and decision making purposes. It provides the knowledge so that public resources can be shared evenly across the country and to ensure that services at local level are relevant to all the people who live there.


As well as collecting information on the age and sex of the population, a range of  different questions relating to households and individuals are also asked such as where and what people work at, how people travel to work, school and college, languages spoken, disabilities, families, housing, education and skills and lots more. This provides information which will help identify the young population and their education needs. It provides information on education and skills at national, regional and local level which employers and prospective employers can use when making decisions about investment and jobs.


Census enumerators will call to collect the completed forms in the three to four weeks after Census Night. All census enumerators will be wearing clearly marked reflective jackets and will be carrying I.D.


The main household census form caters for up to six persons present in the household on Census night. If there are more than six people present in your household on Census night your enumerator will provide you with additional forms.


Everyone is counted wherever they happen to be on Census night. So, if you are staying away from home on Census night, you must complete the census form wherever you stay on that night. For example if you are a student who lives away from home in an apartment or sharing a house, you need to do the following:


·         If you are staying at home with your family on census night you should be included as normal in the census form


·         If you are staying away from your family home, please complete the census form wherever you spend the night and in replying to Question 7 “Where do you usually live?” enter your home address. You will also need to be included as an absent person in the census form that is completed in your family home under the section for ‘Absent persons who usually live in the household’ on Page 22 of the form.


There are 30 questions on the form which must be answered. In addition there are 11 household questions which the householder must answer relating to the household’s accommodation. If you are a student sharing accommodation with other students, you can agree between the residents who will complete this section of the form. You may need to talk to your landlord or a neighbour to find out some of the information about when the house or apartment was first built and some of the other accommodation questions.


The Census information is strictly confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only – this is guaranteed by law. No other Government Department or Agency has access to the identifiable information relating to individuals or households collected in the Census. The need for confidentiality is stressed in the training of census field staff and all are made fully aware of their legal obligations in this respect.


Various resources have been made available to assist people with filling out the census form including large print, Braille and audio versions of the form. For those whose first language is not English a translation of the census form is available in the following 21 languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Estonian, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Urdu and Yoruba.

All of these resources and much more information about the census are available on the census website at And of course, census enumerators will be happy to assist with answering any questions when they call to deliver and collect the form.

I would urge all students to fill in their Census form on Census night. By participating in the Census you are giving us the information we need now to understand what Ireland needs for the future.

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