A Compulsory census was completed across Ireland, with refusals punishable by fines of up to €25,000
Ireland marked the centenary night of the 1916 Rising with a compulsory 25-box census to be completed by all Irish households and hotel residents. Five years ago the 2011 census found just over 84 percent of Irish people, 3.86 million, described themselves as Roman Catholic, a slight decrease on the 87 percent who did so five years earlier.
The biggest increase was in people describing themselves as Orthodox, while Islam was found to be the biggest non-Christian faith, with 49,200 people.
There was a 44 percent increase in the number of people opting to tick the “no religion” box, the second largest group in Ireland at just under 270,000 people.
Around 90 per cent of Irish schools are controlled by the Catholic Church and a baptism certification is necessary to secure a place in what are publicly funded schools.
As a response to this the country’s Central Statistics Office asked respondents to explicitly state what they actually believe not the religion in which they were raised or with which they culturally identify so it can better provide data for school provision.
Reflecting last year’s landmark referendum in May to endorse marriage equality the question on marital status was slightly amended to acknowledge same sex unions.
The CSO expects to the census to show that Ireland’s population is increasing and ageing.
Everyone was required to register where they were on Sunday night though they would not necessarily be counted as residents of that area. Refusals can be punished by fines of up to €25,000.
Some people struggled with the form, as can be seen from this clip that went viral on census night. Poor Laura!