Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Background Notes

Open in Excel:

Appendix 1 

A Census of Population was taken on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, in accordance with the Statistics (Census of Population) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 445 of 2015)

Coverage of the Census

The census figures relate to the de facto population i.e. the population recorded for each area represents the total of all persons present within its boundaries on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, together with all persons who arrived in that area on the morning of Monday, 25 April 2016, not having been enumerated elsewhere.  Persons on board ships in port are included with the population of adjacent areas. The figures, therefore, include visitors present on Census Night as well as those in residence, while usual residents temporarily absent from the area are excluded.

De facto versus Usual Residence

The date of the census was chosen to coincide with a period when passenger movements were at a minimum and, consequently, the figures closely approximate to those for the normally resident population. The de facto measure of the population, referred to throughout this report, was 4,761,865 in April 2016 while the usually resident and present total was 4,689,921, a difference of 71,944 or 1.5%. The usually resident measure is used when analysing topics such as commuting patterns, nationality and households and families.

Conduct of the Census

A temporary field force consisting of 6 Census Liaison Officers, 44 Regional Supervisors, 430 Field Supervisors and some 4,663 part-time enumerators carried out the census enumeration. During the four weeks before Census Night the enumerators visited some 2 million private residences and delivered census questionnaires to 1.7 million of these dwellings as well as to 4,140 communal establishments capable of accommodating people (such as hotels, nursing homes, etc.,) that were expected to be occupied on census night. Approximately 250,000 residences were vacant at the time of the census, while in the remaining cases the household was either enumerated elsewhere or temporarily absent from the State. The collection of completed questionnaires took place between Monday 25 April and Sunday 22 May, 2016.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) wishes to record its appreciation of the public-spirited co-operation received from households and the work carried out by the census field force.

Production of results

Each enumerator first prepared and returned to the CSO a summary of the population of his/her enumeration area. These summaries formed the basis for the preliminary 2016 census results published in July 2016. The completed questionnaires for individual households were subsequently transported to the CSO for processing. The population summaries, dwelling listings and enumeration maps for individual enumeration areas were checked for consistency and used to determine the boundaries of census towns and suburbs. The capture and processing of the responses to questions on the questionnaires proceeded concurrently.

The planned publication schedule is contained in Appendix 3. Two summary reports will present highlight results primarily for the State; Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1, looks at overall population change by county; it also examines age, marriage, households and families as well as including first results on nationality, foreign languages, the Irish language, religion and housing. The second summary report, Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 2, looks at other social and economic factors such as employment, occupations, education and skills as well as travel and health-related topics. A further two profile reports will provide more detailed results on individual topics; the details are listed in the publication schedule.

Maps

All maps in this release are © Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. License number 01/05/001.

Appendix 2 - Definitions 

Disability

Data on disability was derived from answers to questions 16 and 17 of the census questionnaire.  Question 16 was a seven-part question that asked about the existence of the following long lasting conditions: (a) blindness or a serious vision impairment, (b) deafness or a severe hearing impairment, (c) a difficulty with basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying, (d) an intellectual disability (e) a difficulty with learning, remembering or concentrating, (f) a psychological or emotional condition and (g) a difficulty with pain, breathing or any other chronic illness or condition. If a person answered YES to any of the parts of Q16, they were then asked to answer Question 17. This question was a four-part question that asked whether an individual had a difficulty doing any of the following activities: (a) dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home (self-care disability); (b) going outside the home alone to shop or visit a doctor’s surgery (going outside the home disability); (c) working at a job or business or attending school or college (employment disability) and (d) participating in other activities, such as leisure or using transport. Individuals were classified as having a disability if they answered YES to any part of the above two questions, including, in particular, if they ticked YES to any of the parts of Q17 even though they may not have ticked YES to any of the parts of Q16. The formats of these questions were updated in 2011 in consultation with users and interested groups.

Census Towns (Settlements)

Historically, for the censuses of 1926 to 1951, a census town was defined simply as a cluster of twenty or more houses and the precise delimitation of the town was left to the discretion of the individual enumerator concerned. As part of the general review of towns for the 1956 Census, the boundaries for the census towns were drawn up in consultation with the various Local Authorities applying uniform principles in all areas of the country. The definition of a census town was changed at the 1956 Census, from twenty houses to twenty occupied houses; this definition was also applied at the 1961 and 1966 Censuses.

From 1971 to 2006, Census towns were defined as a cluster of fifty or more occupied dwellings where, within a radius of 800 metres there was a nucleus of thirty occupied dwellings (on both sides of a road, or twenty on one side of a road), along with a clearly defined urban centre e.g. a shop, a school, a place of worship or a community centre. Census town boundaries were extended over time where there was an occupied dwelling within 200 metres of the existing boundary.

To avoid the agglomeration of adjacent towns caused by the inclusion of low density one off dwellings on the approach routes to towns the 2011 criteria were tightened, in line with UN criteria.

In Census 2016, a new Census town was defined as there being a minimum of 50 occupied dwellings, with a maximum distance between any dwelling and the building closest to it, of 100 metres, and where there was evidence of an urban centre (shop, school etc.). The proximity criteria for extending existing 2006 Census town boundaries was also amended to include all occupied dwellings within 100 metres of an existing building. Other information based on OSi mapping and orthogonal photography was also taken into account when extending boundaries. Boundary extensions were generally made to include the land parcel on which a dwelling was built or using other physical features such as roads, paths etc.

Census towns which previously combined legal towns and their environs have been newly defined using the standard census town criteria (with the 100 metres proximity rule). For some towns the impact of this has been to lose area and population, compared with previous computations.

The population of towns is given in Tables E2014 and E2016. Table E2014 contains towns of 1,500 population and over arranged in order of size. An alphabetical list of all towns in the country, with their populations, is given in Table E2016.

Urban and Rural Areas

The term Aggregate Town Area or Urban Area refers to settlements with a total population of 1,500 or more.  The term Aggregate Rural Area refers to the population outside Aggregate Town Areas and includes the population of settlements with a population of less than 1,500 persons.

Historically census towns were defined as a cluster of fifty or more occupied dwellings where, within a radius of 800 metres, there was a nucleus of thirty occupied dwellings (on both sides of a road, or twenty on one side of a road), along with a clearly defined urban centre e.g. a shop, a school, a place of worship or a community centre.  Census town boundaries were extended over time where there was an occupied dwelling within 200 metres of the existing boundary.

In 2011 the proximity criteria were tightened, in line with UN criteria. This was done in order to avoid the agglomeration of adjacent towns caused by the inclusion of low density one off dwellings on the approach routes to towns.

First introduced in 2011 therefore, and continuing for Census 2016, a new census town was defined as having a minimum of 50 occupied dwellings, with a maximum distance between any dwelling and the building closest to it of 100 metres, and where there was evidence of an urban centre (shop, school etc.). The 100m proximity rule was also applied when extending existing 2011 Census town boundaries. 

Private Household

private household comprises either one person living alone or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address with common housekeeping arrangements - that is, sharing at least one meal a day or sharing a living room or sitting room.  In order to be included in the household, a person had to be a usual resident at the time of the census.  Therefore, visitors to the household on Census Night were excluded, while usual residents temporarily absent (for less than 12 months) were included.

A permanent private household is a private household occupying a permanent dwelling such as a house, flat or bed-sit.

A temporary private household is a private household occupying a caravan, mobile home or other temporary dwelling.

Size of Household

The number of persons in a household consists of the total number of persons usually resident there on the night of Sunday, 24 April 2016, including those absent from the household for less than twelve months.  Visitors present in the household on census night are excluded.

Household Reference Person

The reference person in each private household is the first person in the household identified as a parent, spouse, cohabiting partner or head of a non-family household containing related persons. Where no person in the household satisfied these criteria, the first usually resident person was used as the reference person.

For the purposes of expressing the household reference person in simple terms for the reader, the terms head of household or householder are used instead of the household reference person in this report.

 

Family Units

A family unit or nucleus is defined as:

(1)          a husband and wife or a co-habiting couple; or

(2)          a husband and wife or a co-habiting couple together with one or more usually resident never-married children (of any age); or

(3)          one parent together with one or more usually resident never-married children (of any age).


Family members have to be usual residents of the relevant household.

The determination of household and family composition is based on responses to the question on the census form dealing with relationships within the household.

Industry

The term industry used for Census of Population purposes is not confined to manufacturing industry. It is synonymous with the term “sector of economic activity”. The basis of the industrial classification is, in the case of employees, the business or profession of their employer and in the case of self-employed persons, the nature of their own business or profession.

In Census 2016, industry is coded using NACE – the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities. The current version, NACE Rev. 2, is a 4-digit activity classification that was first used in Census 2011 and is a revision of the version originally published by Eurostat in 1970. The previous version, NACE Rev. 1, was in use in the censuses of 2002 and 2006.

NACE Rev. 2 is a hierarchical classification, with 88 Divisions at 2-digit level, 272 Groups at 3-digit level and 615 Classes at 4-digit level. The NACE Rev.2 classification is shown in Appendix 3 while a breakdown of the NACE Rev. 1 classification is available on our CSO website. 

The industry in which a person is engaged is determined (regardless of their occupation) by the main economic activity carried out in the local unit in which he or she works. If, however, the local unit provides an ancillary service to another unit in the business (e.g. administration, storage, etc.) then the persons in the ancillary unit are classified to the industry of the unit it services. Thus, while the occupational classification is concerned only with the particular work performed by an individual regardless of the activity carried on at the local unit, the industrial classification is concerned only with the ultimate purpose of the unit or end product regardless of the precise nature of the work performed by each individual.

A manufacturing or commercial unit may employ persons with many different occupations for the purpose of making a particular product or for giving a particular 78 Appendices service. Conversely, there are cases in which particular occupations are largely confined to a single industry. For example, the majority of persons with agricultural occupations are in the agriculture industry and most miners are in the mining industry.

Socio-economic group

The entire population was classified to one of ten specific socio-economic groups (introduced in 1996). In addition, a residual group entitled. “All others gainfully occupied and unknown” was used where sufficient details were not provided. The classification aims to bring together persons with similar social and economic statuses on the basis of the level of skill or educational attainment required. In defining socio-economic group no attempt is made to rank groups in order of socio-economic importance.

The socio-economic group of persons aged 15 years or over who are at work is determined by their occupation (coded using Soc90) and employment status. Unemployed or retired persons aged 15 years or over are classified according to their former occupation and employment status.  

Persons looking after the home/family or at school/ college, who are members of a family unit, were classified to the socio-economic group of another person in the family unit using a priority table based on the relationships within the family. Thus, if the reference person1 of a family was at work, unemployed or retired, other persons were assigned to his/her socio-economic group. If the reference person was neither at work, unemployed nor retired (e.g. never worked, permanently disabled, etc.), they were assigned to the socio-economic group of the other parent, spouse or cohabiting partner in the family unit. If there was no such spouse or partner or if the spouse, in turn, was neither at work, unemployed or retired, they were assigned to the socio-economic group of a working son/ daughter. If there were no persons in the family unit with a socio-economic group then they were assigned to the unknown socio-economic group. Other persons looking after the home/family or at school/college who were not members of a family unit, such as relatives of the reference person (e.g. widowed grandparents, etc.) were assigned a socio-economic group using the above method. Unrelated persons or persons living alone who are looking after the home/family or at school/college were assigned to the unknown group.

The socio-economic groups used in the census are as follows:

A Employers and managers

B Higher professional

C Lower professional

D Non-manual

E Manual skilled

F Semi-skilled

G Unskilled

H Own account workers

I Farmers

J Agricultural workers

Z All others gainfully occupied and unknown 

1The reference person in each private household is the first person identified as a parent, spouse or cohabiting partner in the first family in the household. Where no person in the household satisfies these criteria, the first usually resident person is used as the reference person

Social class The entire population is also classified into one of the following social class groups (introduced in 1996) which are defined on the basis of occupation (coded using Soc90): 1 Professional workers 2 Managerial and technical 3 Non-manual 4 Skilled manual 5 Semi-skilled 6 Unskilled 7 All others gainfully occupied and unknown The occupations included in each of these groups have been selected in such a way as to bring together, as far as possible, people with similar levels of occupational skill. In determining social class no account is taken of the differences between individuals on the basis of other characteristics such as education. Accordingly social class ranks occupations by the level of skill required on a social class scale ranging from 1 (highest) to 7 (lowest). This scale combines occupations into six groups by occupation and employment status following procedures similar to those outlined above for the allocation of socio-economic group. A residual category “All others gainfully occupied and unknown” is used where no precise allocation is possible.

Appendix 3 

Census 2016 Publication Schedule                                                                           

Description                                        Publication Date
Preliminary Results                                 14 July 2016
Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 1               06 April 2017
Profile 1 - Housing in Ireland                     20 April 2017
Profile 2 - Population Distribution and Movements   11 May 2017
Census 2016 Summary Results - Part 2               15 June 2017
Profile 3 - An Age Profile of Ireland               06 July 2017
Small Area Population Statistics (SAPS)           20 July 2017
POWSCAR - Research micro data file                 20 July 2017
Profile 4 - Households and Families                 27 July 2017
Profile 5 - Homeless Persons in Ireland             10 August 2017
Profile 6 - Commuting in Ireland                   31 August 2017
Profile 7 - Migration and Diversity                 21 September 2017
Profile 8 - Irish Travellers, Ethnicity and Religion 12 October 2017
Profile 9 - Health, Disability and Carers         02 November 2017
Profile 10 - Education, Skills and the Irish Language 23 November 2017
Profile 11 - Employment, Occupations and Industry   14 December 2017

____________________________________________________

Interactive web tables will accompany each publication.