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Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Office for National Statistics will include White Irish as a category in the 2011 census. (181763)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 28 January 2008:

As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking if a category of White Irish will be included in the 2011 Census, (181763)

The current version of the ethnic group question being used in the testing programme does include Irish under the White category. However, until the consultation and testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010, it is not possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census.

A White Paper setting out the Government’s proposals including the wording of any questions about ethnicity and identity is scheduled to be published in autumn 2008.