The Government has decided to postpone the census of the population due to take place next year. The move, on the advice of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), means the census will now take place on 3 April 2022.
CSO director general Pádraig Dalton said the census was a major logistical operation and COVID-19 restrictions had prevented or delayed many key planning activities over recent months.
The CSO said the decision was not taken lightly and was based on a number of factors, including the need to ensure the safety of the general public and CSO field staff, coupled with the need to deliver a census that achieves the highest possible response rate, across all facets of Irish society.
“It is vital that the census enables everyone in Ireland to participate so that the information gathered reflects all of our needs and can be used to make decisions that benefit us all,” said Mr Dalton.
The CSO employs around 5,500 staff for each census, and says it is developing new processes and procedures to ensure they and the public are protected in line with public health guidelines.
Under the Framework Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/712, Ireland is required to transmit census data to EU statistics agency Eurostat with a reference date in 2021. This transmission must be made by March 2024.