We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Sam Boal/
Save the Date

Census 2022 to take place in April after being delayed last year due to Covid-19

The last census was carried out on 24 April 2016.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Mar 2022

THIS YEAR’S CENSUS will take place on Sunday, 3 April.

The nationwide survey was launched by the Taoiseach and the Central Statistics Office at Government Buildings this morning.

A team of 5,100 enumerators has started the process of delivering over two million forms to every household in the country.

The forms must be completed on census night and will be collected by an enumerator before 6 May. Everyone present in Ireland on 3 April must be included on a census form.

Speaking at the launch, Micheál Martin said that by counting each and every single person in Ireland, the census provides a uniquely comprehensive account of our population and shows us where and how it is changing.

“We can see the age profile of our population, or society’s ethnic makeup, and the languages spoken in homes around the country. We will learn about the numbers of family carers, and the levels of volunteerism across our communities, and much, much more. The census tells us about how we live today, and we can use that information to plan for a better tomorrow,” he said. 

The last census was carried out on 24 April 2016, and showed that the total population of Ireland was 4,761,865 – an increase of almost 174,000 people (3.8%) since 2011.

Censuses are normally held every four or five years and the latest edition was due to be carried out on 18 April last year, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to postpone was based on a need to ensure safety of public and CSO staff as well as the need to deliver a census with the highest possible response rate.

“Dealing with Covid-19 for the past two years has impacted Ireland significantly, and I am sure this time period will be a source of much analysis in years to come. On the night of 3 April, we will all have a chance to get involved in preserving that history for future generations,” Martin said. 

The questionnaire covers topics such as age, marital status, gender, place of birth, occupation and housing characteristics, with the results used to draft effective government policy.

New questions

Several new questions have been added to this years’ census following a consultation process held in late 2017 inviting views on changes to the census form.

Over 400 submissions were received from members of the public, government departments, interest groups and other organisations. The CSO said it chose a range of areas which broadly represent the population of Ireland.

Among the new questions to be included are how many working smoke alarms are in your accommodation, and what type of internet connection does your household have.

Another new question asks people what time they usually leave work, school, college or childcare, while another asks people if they engage in any sort of voluntary work.

Other questions relate to working from home, tobacco use and access to childcare. 

For the first time, the census form will also include an optional ‘time capsule’ section, which will give each household the opportunity to write a message to future generations.

The messages will be stored along with the census forms for the next 100 years before being released to the public in 2122.

Ireland has been conducting Censuses of Population since 1821. 

Members of the public must complete their census form, and can be prosecuted for not doing so correctly.

Census forms are available in Irish and English while guides are also available in another 22 languages to assist those for whom Irish or English is not a first language.

A range of additional accessibility supports and guides are available on

With reporting by Jane Moore

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel