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Background Notes

Census 2022 Results

CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Census Results 2022 Branding

This publication contains preliminary data from Census 2022 as published in June 2022, which has now been superseded.  To view the final data with complete and up-to-date Census 2022 information, please refer to the Census 2022 Main Results publications. 

Background Notes

A Census of Population was taken on the night of Sunday, 3 April 2022, in accordance with the Statistics (Census of Population) Order 2020This report contains provisional results which are based on summaries returned for each of the 5,100 census Enumeration Areas. These results are provisional and will be superseded by the official Census 2022 results which will be released in 2023.

Coverage of the Census

The census population figures in this report relate to the de facto population meaning persons who were present in the State on the night of Sunday, April 3rd 2022. The de facto population includes persons who do not usually live in the State but were in the State on Census Night.  It excludes persons who do usually live in the State but who were temporarily absent outside of the State on Census Night. Persons who were present in the State were enumerated and are reported at the location where they spent Census Night. This may not have been the location where they usually live.

Conduct of the Census

For the purposes of census enumeration, the State was divided into 6 Census Liaison Areas, 46 Regions, 466 Field Districts and 5,100 Enumeration Areas.  Census Enumerators were assigned to these Enumeration Areas and during the five weeks before the census was conducted delivered census questionnaires to all dwellings that were expected to be occupied on Census Night. Each address within an Enumeration Area was recorded as either occupied, unoccupied or not suitable for habitation. Further information on dwellings which were unoccupied and properties which were not suitable for habitation can be found below.

The collection of completed questionnaires took place between Monday, 4 April and Friday, 6 May 2022.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) wishes to record its appreciation of the hard work carried out by the Census Enumerators, Field Supervisors, Regional Supervisors and Census Liaison Officers in carrying out the field work for Census 2022.  The CSO is also grateful for the level of co-operation received from households and members of the public across Ireland.

The data in this report is based on local counts compiled for each of the 5,100 Enumeration Areas. Enumerators summarised the total number of persons, males and females in each household onto the front of the census form and then prepared overall summary totals for their area. They also summarised the number of dwellings, both occupied and unoccupied, recorded in their area.

Using a smartphone application, the summaries were returned to the CSO in advance of the census forms themselves and it is from these summaries that this Preliminary Report has been prepared. Dissemination of the definitive census results will commence after the collected census forms have been fully scanned and processed. These results will provide a broad range of detail taken from the forms for a range of geographical areas.  Publication of the definitive results will commence in the second quarter of 2023.

Components of Population Change

The data relating to the components of population change uses provisional births and deaths data for the first quarter of 2022.  This data is subject to change and will be finalised and published by CSO later in 2022.

Unoccupied Dwellings

Dwellings which were found by Enumerators to be unoccupied on Census Night were categorised as either vacant, holiday homes or temporarily absent. These categories of dwellings are included in the Census Housing Stock figure. A brief description of each category is provided here.

Vacant dwellings – Dwellings where no contact could be made with householders despite repeat visits were considered as potentially vacant by Enumerators. In assessing dwellings for vacancy, Enumerators were instructed to look for signs that the dwelling was habitable but unoccupied e.g. no furniture, no cars outside, junk mail accumulating, overgrown garden etc., and to make local enquiries as to whether a dwelling was vacant or not. It was not sufficient to classify a dwelling as vacant after one or two visits, and the number of visits to potentially vacant dwellings was monitored by Field Supervisors to ensure a sufficient number of visits were made at differing times of the day to maximise the chance of making contact with occupants. Field supervisor approval was required to confirm every dwelling submitted by an Enumerator as vacant.

It should be noted that the census measure of vacancy is a point in time measure and is decided based on the findings of census field staff in the weeks around Census Night.  It includes dwellings which may be unoccupied for a relatively short period of time and may be vacant because they are for sale, for rent or because the owner is in hospital.  Dwellings flagged as vacant in the census may therefore have been occupied shortly after the census operation was completed.  Census vacancy should therefore not be interpreted as a measure of long term vacancy.

Holiday Homes – Dwellings where no contact could be made with a householder.  Enquiries with neighbours and/or other local sources confirmed that the property was unoccupied at the time of the census and was used as a seasonal holiday home.

Temporarily Absent – Dwellings where contact was made with a householder prior to Census Night and where the householder informed the Enumerator that the entire household would not be in the dwelling on Census Night, but would return shortly afterwards. Household members who would be absent elsewhere in Ireland were required to provide an address where they would be on Census night so that their presence could be verified at that address.  Householders who indicated that the entire household would be absent abroad on Census Night were required to provide information to the Enumerator on where they would spend Census Night as well as basic demographic information about each household member.  This information will be used to generate the usually resident population which is required as part of Ireland’s EU obligations on census reporting.

Properties not included in the housing stock

Properties which were not fit for habitation were not included in the housing stock or vacancy figures.  These included properties which were under construction, derelict and commercial only at the time of the census field operation.

In order to be classified as under construction, the property had to be unfit for habitation because the roof, doors, windows or walls had not yet been built or installed.

A derelict property was generally unfit for habitation on the basis that it was run down, boarded up, overgrown and clearly unoccupied.

To classify a property as commercial only, an Enumerator required evidence that the primary purpose of the property was the conduct of commercial business. These properties may have been included on the address list for Enumeration Areas as they were classified as mixed residential/commercial on the An Post Geodirectory.

Administrative & Census Areas

There are many different geographic divisions of the country. Those used in the 2022 Census of Population are described below. All the areas are as defined at the date of the census.

Small Areas

The enumeration of Census 2022 was organised using Small Areas, which are an administrative unit originally developed by the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) at the behest of Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and in collaboration with the CSO. There were approximately 19,000 Small Areas containing, on average, between 75‐150 households. The Small Areas nest within existing Electoral Divisions. Each Enumerator was assigned an area averaging 430 dwellings consisting of on average of 3-4 Small Areas. The Small Area boundaries will be redrawn to reflect the changing distribution of the population between 2016 and 2022 prior to the publication of the detailed census results in 2023. Data at Small Area level is not produced for this report.

Electoral Divisions (EDs)

The smallest administrative area for which population statistics are provided in this report is the Electoral Division. There are 3,440 Electoral Divisions in the State. In order to reduce the risk of statistical disclosure, CSO has amalgamated a number of Electoral Divisions. Consequently, data for 3,409 EDs are produced in this report. 

Counties and Cities

The results in this report are provided for both the 26 counties in the State and the 31 administrative areas. In Dublin, four areas are identified separately, namely Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Cork City and Galway City are also included.

The boundary of Cork City was expanded as part of the Local Government Act of 2019.  This expansion resulted in a reduction of the Cork County boundary area. The new expanded Cork City boundary resulted in the bisection of 14 existing Electoral Divisions, with parts of these EDs falling within Cork City and parts of them in Cork County. Consequently these 14 existing EDs no longer fall exclusively into either Cork City or Cork County and from a statistical perspective, it is no longer possible to add data contained within an ED set to sum to Cork City or Cork County for this Preliminary release.

The Census 2022 results for the old Cork City and County boundaries were 130,119 and 451,112 respectively.

Dáil Constituencies

For the purpose of elections to Dáil Éireann the country is divided into constituencies which, under Article 16.2.4 of the Constitution of Ireland, have to be revised at least once every twelve years with due regard to changes in the distribution of the population. The constituencies were last revised in 2017 and the Schedule to the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017 contains details of their composition. The 2022 preliminary population figures for these areas are given in table FP004 in PXStat.


All maps in this release are © Ordnance Survey Ireland/Government of Ireland. All rights reserved. License number CYAL50221370.

1 The Statistics (Census of Population) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 637/2020 ) was made by the Taoiseach in pursuance of powers conferred on him by section 25 (1) of the Statistics Act 1993 ( No. 21 of 1993).

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