Both Ireland and Scotland delayed the 2021 census until 2022. Here are the announcements from both governments’ census agencies.
On the advice of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Government has today decided to postpone the 2021 Census to 03 April 2022.
Explaining the decision, Pádraig Dalton, Director General of the CSO said: “The Census of Population is a unique count of everyone present in Ireland on Census night and provides essential information for planning and decision making. It is vital that the Census enables everyone in Ireland to participate so that the information gathered reflects all of our needs and can be used to make decisions that benefit us all.
The decision to postpone the Census scheduled for 18 April 2021 until 03 April 2022 was not taken lightly and was based on a number of factors. Foremost in the decision making, was the need to ensure the safety of the general public and CSO field staff, coupled with the need to deliver a Census that achieves the highest possible response rate, across all facets of Irish society.
Furthermore, the Census of Population is a major logistical operation and COVID-19 restrictions have prevented or delayed many key planning activities from taking place over recent months.”
On consideration of these challenges the Government has decided to postpone the 2021 Census until April 2022 to enable the CSO to undertake a comprehensive, inclusive and safe Census in 2022 which will provide valuable and accurate data for our country in the years ahead.
For further information contact:
Kathleen Goulding (+353) 1 895 1413https://www.cso.ie/en/csolatestnews/pressreleases/2020pressreleases/pressstatementpostponementofcensus2021/
News Release – Scotland’s Census to be moved to March 2022
Scotland’s next census is to be moved to March 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19, it was announced today.
The census is a count of Scotland’s population usually conducted every ten years by National Records of Scotland and it provides vital information to inform a range of decisions on future schools, hospitals, roads and transport provision.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“COVID-19 is the biggest single public health challenge facing us in more than 100 years and as in many other areas of life, the ongoing disruption is impacting on the vital preparations for the census.
“Following careful consideration and on recommendation of National Records of Scotland, Ministers have informed the Scottish Parliament of their intention to move Scotland’s Census date to March 2022. This reflects the unprecedented impact which COVID-19 is having across a wide range of sectors.
“We recognise Scotland’s Census remains more relevant than ever in the current climate, as it allows important planning decisions to be made informed by the make-up of Scotland’s population.
“This decision was not taken lightly. However the quality of the census data must remain robust, and by moving to 2022 National Records of Scotland can continue to deliver a census which ensures the highest possible response rate from people across Scotland, to allow government, local authorities and key services plan for every element of public life, from building homes to NHS support.
“NRS will continue to work closely with stakeholders and partners to ensure that appropriate data is available to support work that was expecting to make use of Census 2021 data, particularly for key funding allocations and policy decisions.”
Paul Lowe, Registrar General and Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland (NRS), said:
“The priority and responsibility of NRS is to put in place a census that enables everyone across Scotland to participate, so that information collected can be used to produce the analyses and deliver the benefits required by the people of Scotland.
“The census is a unique count of every household in Scotland and in the next census, for the first time, the majority of people will be encouraged to complete their questionnaire online. This will require a significant field force and face-to-face engagement in an effort to support digital participation, engage with the public and raise awareness of census across the population.
“The census is a major logistical operation and the twelve months running up to a census are vital in planning and testing the effectiveness and security of systems and processes. COVID-19 restrictions have delayed or prevented many of these key activities, including engagement with key organisations, from taking place over recent months.
“This is the right decision for Scotland which will allow us to undertake a high quality and safe census in 2022 that will produce the rich data we need for many years to come. That remains our absolute priority.”