Census 2006 Campaign Begins
The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, TD today launched the field campaign for the 2006 Census of Population.
Over the coming weeks, Census Enumerators will deliver about 1.5 million Census Forms throughout the country. Householders and those in charge of institutions will be required to complete the forms in respect of every adult and child present on Census Night, Sunday 23rd of April.
Speaking at the launch, the Taoiseach underscored the importance of the Census:
"For me, the Census is a snapshot in time. It gives us a picture of who we are and how we live, right here and now. That is why the CSO’s motto for Census 2006 – BE PART OF THE BIGGER PICTURE – is so apt. The Census represents so much more than just a head count".
Outlining the uses to which the Census are put, the Taoiseach continued:
"In many ways the Census is also a window onto the future. It gives us important insights into how we, as policy makers, need to work and plan to meet the needs of a rapidly changing and growing population".
The Census is a major undertaking for the CSO, according to Donal Garvey, Director General of the Office:
"The Census is the CSO’s largest statistical operation. It is also the most exacting since the fieldwork must be completed over a short nine-week period and a complete count of the population must be obtained on Census Night. The full co-operation of the public, which has always been the strong point of Irish censuses, is essential in this regard. We also rely heavily on the skill and dedication of our 4,800-strong temporary fieldforce to carry this task through to a successful conclusion".
With regard to confidentiality, Mr. Garvey is emphatic:
"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 identifiable information relating to individuals or households. The need for confidentiality is stressed in the training of our field staff and all are made fully aware of their legal obligations in this respect. We in the CSO are justifiably proud of our unblemished record in the treatment of confidential data, and it is one of our top priorities to maintain this record".
The Director General concluded by saying:
"The 2006 census will provide a valuable chronicle of the evolution of the Irish population at a time of major demographic change. The population for April 2006 could be as high as 4.2 million. The last census when the population exceeded 4 million was in 1871 when the recorded population was 4.1 million".
For further information contact:
Aidan Punch at (01) 4984316 or Evelyn Cronin at (01) 8951319 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Statistics Office 29 March 2006