AS we mark the centenary of the start of the 1916 Rising this Sunday, it is also a time to take stock of the present and look forward to the future, being the night designated for Census 2016. Primarily, the five-yearly Census provides us with a snapshot in time, charting the ongoing changes that are taking place in the country – and there are many – especially in terms of a more diverse population including a growing number of people of different nationalities coming to live and work here, with translations of the Census form available in 21 different foreign languages for those whose first language is not Irish or English.
The findings of this compulsory survey will be collated and analysed in great depth by the Central Statistics Office over the coming months and will help inform planning for the services that our ever-growing population will need in the years ahead, especially for the elderly, as people are living longer nowadays.
Due to the lengthy delay in forming a government, almost two months on from the general election, little or nothing is happening to address serious shortfalls in areas such as health, social housing, education and transport. Longer-term planning is becoming even more urgent now and the parties who form the government must urgently put in place plans that extend far beyond their projected term in office – these need to be across the lifetimes of several administrations as the shortfalls they must address will need realistic levels of ongoing investment provided for over many years to come.
The Census form is pretty straightforward to fill out, but any help needed can be provided by your enumerator, by calling 1850 2016 04 or checking www.census.ie