asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a detailed statement of the proposals for the census in Northern Ireland in 1981.
A census of population will be held in Northern Ireland on 5 April 1981 in line with those being held in the rest of the United Kingdom on the same day. The census is held under the Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 and subordinate legislation will be laid before Parliament before the Summer Recess.There will be 21 questions on the census form and these are, with minor exceptions, common throughout the United Kingdom. The main differences from the Great Britain list are that a voluntary question on religion will be asked, as in all previous Northern Ireland censuses, and there will be five additional subsections to the amentities question on water supply, sewage disposal, central heating, fuel and home insulation. Approximately 3,000 temporary fee-paid field staff will be recruited to carry out the delivery and collection of the census forms.The results of the census take a considerable time to process and it is hoped that all the published reports will be available within three years of the census date, that is, by 1984. A preliminary report will, of course, be published within a few months of census day. The estimated cost of the census is now put at £1·6 million, which represents a saving of almost 16 per cent. on the original estimate.