Revised ethnic equality question needed in Census 2021

Census 2021 should have a properly explained ethnic equality question with a developed list of categories to choose from, recommends Pavee Point in its submission to the Central Statistics Office on future Census.

This revised question builds on the existing question on ‘cultural background’.  This question has been shown to be  largely robust and stood the test of time since it was first piloted and then introduced in Census 2006 and repeated in 2011 and 2016. This is reflected in 97.4% response rate in Census 2016.

This question now needs to be developed to include groups that reflect the experience of racism in Ireland and that will also allow us to compare data with other countries and jurisdictions and is in line with good practice in Europe.  In this way the Census 2021 question can be used as a model by other State Agencies in the collection of ethnic equality data.

“There clearly needs to be further public awareness by the CSO to highlight that the purpose of this question is for ethnic equality,” says Ronnie Fay, Pavee Point Co Director,  “The categories should largely reflect the basis on which ethnic groups experience inequality in Ireland. Categories, particularly new categories, should be tested in a pilot survey and through consultation prior to Census 2021.”

Our key recommendations and full submission here.