Tuesday, May 30, 2023

2022 Census Results

Today, the results of the 2022 Census are being published by the Central Statistics Office. I was one of over 5,000 census enumerators who collected the census data in April last year. Spare a thought for 50 or so of my colleagues who were bitten by dogs in the line of duty. Apart from being threatened by one man will legal action, my 480 households were relatively problem free to deliver and collect census forms. 

Two headline figures stand out for me:

  • The proportion of the population who identified Roman Catholic as their religion fell from 79% in 2016 to 69% in 2022
  • Of the 1.8 million occupied private households enumerated during Census 2022, 348,443 (19%) completed the Time Capsule. The completion rate by county ranged from 16% to 21%

I was surprised that the 69% for Roman Catholics was so high. As a fairly regular Mass goer myself I see the almost empty churches on most Sundays. I think a more interesting piece of data that should be collected would have captured the number of practising Catholics. I'm also surprised that the Time Capsule completion rate was so low, as there was lots of publicity and excitement about it in the lead up to the Census. On the doorstep, many people told me that they did not know what to write, or that they were not bothered. Sadly, for researchers in 100 years time, there will be disappointment when they look up ancestors to see what they put on the form, only to find that 81% were not filled out.

Lots more data to peruse as it is released - I'll be interested to drill down into my own area, plus the area I enumerated. No doubt I would have used Census data in my Statistics classes had I not retired - it is a great source of non-normal data. 

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