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What is the Census 2021?

The census happens only once every 10 years. It gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in Northern Ireland. The information you give us helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of us all. It looks at who we are and how we live. It provides vital information about us, our society and future needs.

Past, present and future

The first census in Northern Ireland was in 1926 and the most recent in 2011, which you may remember. The next census is planned for 2021. We need every household in Northern Ireland to take part to make it accurate.

Our Mission

The Proud to be Counted campaign aims to encourage the LGBTQ+ population to engage with and declare their LGBTQ+ identity in the Census 2021.


This is the first time the Census has asked a question about sexual orientation.  It is vital that government, policy makers, funders and public sector agencies providing support and welfare services have accurate population data.  We are keen to ensure LGBTQ+ individuals feel confident and able to declare their sexual orientation in the Census 2021.  

This campaign is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).