Digital-first census for Northern Ireland in 2021

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Friday, April 12th, 2019

Plans for Northern Ireland’s 2021 Census have been published by the Northern Ireland Research & Statistics Agency (NISRA).

Subject to legislation, the next Census is due to take place on 21 March 2021.



People in Northern Ireland will be encouraged to fill out their census questionnaire online. Paper questionnaires and support will be available for those who need it.

The ‘2021 Census in Northern Ireland’ document sets out the topics which are proposed for inclusion and the consultation process that informed these recommendations.

A number of changes to the questionnaire are planned and full details of these are contained in the proposals document.



Siobhan Carey, Registrar General for Northern Ireland, said, “The census provides an unparalleled and comprehensive picture of our population. The results are invaluable to help plan and shape public services by effectively targeting resources.

“The digital-first Census reflects the changing preferences of our population and will make it easier for people to complete their census return at a time that suits them.

“These proposals mark a significant stage in the census process and are the result of extensive consultation, research and testing to help to ensure the census continues to meet the needs of society,” she added.



In line with previous censuses, NISRA will hold a large scale census rehearsal across a number of areas in Northern Ireland this October – details will be published in the next few months.

NISRA is hosting a series of engagement events during May to present plans for the 2021 Census.



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