Ireland’s Census 2022 will take place next month, after it was postponed last year because of the pandemic.
The census, which occurs every five years, will be held on Sunday, April 3.
There is a legal obligation on individuals to have their information recorded on the census form.
There are several changes to the 2022 census form, including eight new questions on working from home, the internet, renewable energy sources and smoking.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) director general Padraig Dalton said that 25 of the previous form questions have also been changed.
A new feature on the form includes a ‘time capsule’. People filling in the forms will be able to write a message or observation to their descendants.
The forms will be sealed and will not be available for public viewing for 100 years.
Ireland has a population of just under five million people.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, Mr Dalton said that more than two million forms will be sent nationwide.
Mr Dalton also said that other areas, including the effects of Covid-19, will also be included in Census 2022.
We wanted to put in something that might get people to sit down and have a chat about the census
Asked about the purpose of the time capsule, he said: “It’s really for yourself to leave a message for your descendants or for the next generations.
“It’s whatever you want to put into it. It will be absolutely held confidential along with every other piece of information that we collect on April 3. We won’t be delving into it.
“It’s about how do you engage people, we wanted to put in something that might get people to sit down and have a chat about the census.”
Reflecting on what message he would like to send his descendants, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “I think we have to get it right. What would you say to someone in 100 years?
“It’s interesting that 100 years ago there was a pandemic, and little did people back then, in the 1918 period, think in 100 years a message could relate to a pandemic.
“What I’m thinking of is around what would the planet be like in 100 years time.
“Will we, through our efforts now, have impacted on our biodiversity in 100 years’ time. What will it be in terms of plants, insects, flora and fauna? That’s kind of where I’m heading.”