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By ALANA FEARON TWO million Census forms were filled out across Ireland last night.

The last study was in 2006 but it is expected this one could provide some surprising results in terms of national well-being and population because of the economic crash.

CSO director general Gerry O'Hanlon said it was "fundamentally important that we have an accurate picture of our population". He added: "We are totally dependent on people for their co-operation with the Census. We're hoping for a 100% response.

"The most important requirement is that we get an accurate picture of our population to allow us to make right decisions now, for the future."

Some 5,000 enumerators visited two million addresses nationwide and established 1.7 million homes would have had at least one person present last night when the deadline arrived.

Including hotels, guesthouses and shipping, two million forms should be returned.

Those on ships in Irish waters at midnight were also obliged to complete the forms. Anyone who failed to do so faces a fine of up to EUR25,000 and even jail.

Minister of State Paul Keohoe said the Census was crucial for future planning.

The forms were printed in 21 languages including Arabic and Swahili. The difficult task of collecting the two million surveys begins today and they will be sent to the CSO offices in Swords, Co Dublin, for scanning and assessment.

Preliminary results will be known by July, when it should be revealed if the population growth of the past two decades has been maintained.

A detailed analysis will be completed by next spring.


CRUCIAL J Minister of State Paul Keohoe
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 11, 2011
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