About the census : Overview

What is the census?

The census happens only once every 10 years. It gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in Northern Ireland. The information you give us helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of us all. It looks at who we are and how we live. It provides vital information about us, our society and future needs.

Past, present and future

The first census in Northern Ireland was in 1926 and the most recent in 2011, which you may remember. We need every household in Northern Ireland to take part in the 2021 census to make it accurate.

The Census in England & Wales

At the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), we are responsible for planning and running the census for Northern Ireland. Census Day across Northern Ireland and England & Wales was Sunday 21 March 2021, but it’s not too late to take part.

You can find out more about the census in England & Wales from the Office for National Statistics.