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Welcome to our School Resources Page

The goals of the schools resources are to help our students understand what the census is about, to learn how and why a census takes place and the value of census information to society, our communities and our daily lives.  

Census 2022 School Resources (Primary and Secondary)

Census 2016 School Resources (Primary and Secondary)

General Information for Students and Teachers

Why is the census of interest to students?

The information that we get from the census pervades our daily lives. It provides us with:

  • the data we need to understand who we are and what we do, and
  • the ability to use the information to create knowledge about what we need and how to best go about acting on the information to achieve the best outcome for everyone.

It describes the society in which we live and helps us to understand that society better, whether in the make up of our ages, origins, activities or any of the other key attributes for which data is collected in the census.

Learning about the census and about how to effectively use census and other statistical data is a key part of our education. It helps us to understand our society and our role as responsible citizens in participating in that society.

You may not realise it but, as a student, the census is relevant to several different subject areas that you study in primary and secondary school.

It helps us to learn some very important skills. For instance learning how data is collected, analysed and reported in a meaningful way not only helps our maths, presentational and descriptive skills but it helps us to understand the data that is presented to us. It gives us the skills to ask questions to find the facts to support our understanding of what is happening in the world around us in a meaningful way. As students you will use these skills in many of your future studies whether these are in the areas of maths, business, economics, history, geography or in conducting scientific projects.

Census information is available for Ireland as a whole or by region, for our cities, by county, electoral division and since 2011 by small areas. This allows us to view and compare the results compiled for different geographical areas, whether we want to compare Ireland as a whole with our own local area or own local area with neighbouring areas.

It also helps us to understand our past. The availability of old census returns from 1901 and 1911 on the National Archives website has been hugely popular with Irish people all over the world, who want to find out about their ancestors and about how we as a nation lived at the start of the last century. The availability of these returns provides us with endless opportunities to study and analyse our past, to view the development of our society at a national or local level over time, to view trends and to gain an appreciation of our past. Just think, the census forms that we completed in 2022, although they won’t be available to see until 2122 under the 100 year confidentiality rule, show us as we are in 2022 and allow our descendants to get to know us better and to see how things have changed over the course of the 21st century.

The census is also of course an important source of socio-economic data and provides the basis for the analysis of much other socio-economic statistical data that we see and use in our daily lives. The skills that students learn from studying and analysing the census will be relevant in their study of economics and business in addition to providing very useful information for their research into various aspects of these fields of study and in the decision making that they will make in their future careers.

Census data is available for everyone to use. The results of Census 2022 are published online on the CSO website at, where you can also find previous and historical census results. All of this data is searchable and is free for use by anyone.