News and events

Latest news from the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland.

2021 Census news

14 May 2019

Census 2021 - Information events

Following the publication of the 2021 Census Proposals Document, setting out the Registrar General’s proposals for the design and conduct of the 2021 Census, three regional information events will be held in Belfast, Armagh and Derry/Londonderry.

Riddel Hall, Belfast                         Monday 10 June               14.00 - 16.30

City Hotel, Armagh                         Tuesday 11 June              10.00 - 12.30

City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry      Wednesday 12 June        10.00 - 12.30

To reserve a place please use the link: https://2021-census-proposals.eventbrite.co.uk

These events will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposals in detail, including the questionnaire content, census rehearsal and census outputs.

NEW: The information event presentation is now available to download.

7 May 2019

Census Rehearsal Areas Announced

As we continue to prepare for the 2021 Census, NISRA will be carrying out a full end to end rehearsal of the census in October 2019 in selected areas across Northern Ireland. This will allow us to ensure that all of our processes, systems and services are effective and working as they should before the 2021 Census.

The areas that have been selected to take part in the rehearsal are:

  • South and East Belfast (7,300 households)
  • Craigavon (7,200 households)
  • West Fermanagh (4,300 households)

You can find out more about the census rehearsal on our website or you contact us by email or phone.

Email: census@nisra.gov.uk

Phone: 028 9025 5156

1 May 2019

The Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords.

The Bill will amend the Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Schedule as matters on which questions may be asked in the census and to remove the penalty for not responding to these questions, if asked.  The Registrar General’s 2021 Census Proposals Document published on 3 April 2019 sets out plans for the next census in Northern Ireland.  It is proposed that a question on sexual orientation is asked for the first time in the 2021 Census and this legislation will ensure that this question would be answered on a voluntary basis.

5 April 2019

Address checking exercise

As part of our preparations for the 2021 Census, NISRA is carrying out an address checking exercise with 2,000 randomly selected properties during April 2019.

The purpose of this exercise is to assess the accuracy of our address register. It’s important that we do this now to enable us to update the register and make it as accurate as possible in advance of the 2021 Census.

If your property is selected as part of this exercise you will receive a letter from us addressed to the occupier inviting you to complete a very short questionnaire. We would really appreciate if you could complete this and return it to us in the pre-paid envelope provided by 26 April 2019.

If you require any further details please contact us by email or phone.

Email: census@nisra.gov.uk

Phone: 028 9025 5156

3 April 2019

2021 Census Proposals Document

On 3 April, the Proposals Document outlining the recommendations for the 2021 Census was published by NISRA, alongside supporting documentation on the 2017 Census Test, the use of administrative data and topic reports on sexual orientation and UK armed forces veterans.

The Proposals Document sets out the Registrar General’s proposals for the design and conduct of the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland, which is due to take place on 21 March 2021, subject to legislation.

10 January 2019

The 2021 Census Outputs Strategy Consultation is now closed

NISRA would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in this consultation. You’ve played an important part in helping us make sure the 2021 Census is a success.

If you require any further details or were unable to submit your response in time please contact us by email or phone.

Email: 2021census.consultation@nisra.gov.uk

Phone: 028 9025 5156 (Available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm)

18 October 2018

The launch of the 2021 Census Outputs Strategy Consultation

The next census in Northern Ireland will be in 2021 and NISRA has launched a public consultation asking users for their views on our initial Outputs Strategy.

You can respond to the Outputs Strategy Consultation online.

More information on the outputs strategy consultation can be found on our 2021 Census Outputs Strategy Consultation page.

6 November 2017

The 2017 Census Test is now complete

NISRA would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in the 2017 Census Test. You’ve played an important part in helping us make sure the 2021 Census is a success.

17 October 2017

2017 Census Test update

NISRA have sent paper questionnaires to households to ask them again to take part in the Census Test. People who get one of those can either use the paper copy or go online to fill it in. If you’ve already completed your questionnaire, thank you - please disregard these reminders.

To complete online just go to www.nisra.gov.uk/censustest, select ‘Start Questionnaire’, enter the unique online access code printed on your paper questionnaire and complete the questions.

Taking part in this test will directly influence the design of the 2021 Census. The Census Test questionnaire should only take about five minutes per person to complete.

2 October 2017

2017 Census Test update

NISRA have sent letters to households to remind people about the Census Test and to ask them again to take part. If you’ve already completed your questionnaire, thank you - please ignore the letter.

Taking part in this test will directly influence the design of the 2021 Census. The Census Test questionnaire should only take about five minutes per person to complete.

If you have received a letter, please consider taking part. Just go to www.nisra.gov.uk/censustest, select ‘Start Questionnaire’, enter your unique online access code and complete the questions.

28 September 2017

Address checking exercise

NISRA is changing the way we collect and record addresses for properties in Northern Ireland for our address register. We’ve been using new methods and new information sources to develop and update our address register. We have been checking our register in the office but we now need to check the accuracy of that work on the ground in preparation for the 2021 Census.

The NISRA address register contains a list of Northern Ireland addresses derived from data supplied by a range of public bodies. During October 2017 NISRA staff will be checking the information we hold in a small number of areas selected at random. This check will involve our staff carrying out a visual check of properties to verify that the address details we hold are correct. We are not concerned with who lives at an address but simply whether the address characteristics match those that we hold. Staff will not be calling at addresses.

All our staff carry official identification. If you require any further information on this please contact us by email or phone.

Email: census@nisra.gov.uk

Phone: 028 9025 5156 (Available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm)

Notification letter

A copy of the notification letter sent out to households and businesses in the selected areas is available to download.

18 September 2017

2017 Census Test update

NISRA organises and conducts the census in Northern Ireland. It needs to assess a range of elements planned for the 2021 questionnaire to ensure that it asks the right questions.

During September and October 2017, a Census Test is taking place across 15,000 randomly-selected addresses in Northern Ireland. If you’re invited to take part, please do so as it’s an exciting opportunity to shape the future of the census.

Taking part in this test will directly influence the design of the 2021 Census. The Census Test questionnaire should only take about five minutes per person to complete. 

Read more

Products and services

Opportunities for providing the products and services we require to support the delivery of the next census in Northern Ireland will be listed on the ‘News’ section of the eTenderNI site.

2021 Census events

Upcoming census events

There are currently no planned census information events.

Previous census events

Proposals information events

NISRA organised three information events in June 2019 to support the publication of the 2021 Census Proposals document. The purpose of the events was to set out the proposals for the design and conduct of the 2021 Census, including the questionnaire content, census outputs and plans for the census rehearsal in October 2019.

The information event presentation is available to download.

The events were held in the following locations:

  • Belfast: Monday 10 June 2019
  • Armagh: Tuesday 11 June 2019
  • Derry/Londonderry: Wednesday 12 June 2019

Outputs strategy consultation events

NISRA organised a number of information events in November and December 2018 to support the 2021 Census Outputs Strategy Consultation. These events gave users the chance to get further information, clarify queries and to put their questions to NISRA staff.

The information event presentation is available to download.

The events were held in the following locations:

  • Belfast: Monday 26 November 2018
  • Derry/Londonderry: Wednesday 28 November 2018
  • Enniskillen: Monday 10 December 2018

Topic consultation events

NISRA organised three 2021 Census topic consultation events in 2015. The topic consultation event presentation and summary report are available to download.

Keeping up to date

If you haven't already done so, we would recommend that you subscribe to our census mailing list to keep up to date with all the latest news.

To subscribe to the census mailing list all you need to do is send us a message with 'SUBSCRIBE' as the subject\title.

Email: census@nisra.gov.uk