Words: Eva O’Beirne
“For statistical analysis purposes, all entries will be assigned a sex, where this is not clearly indicated on a Census form it will be assigned at random.”
The Census, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 3, 2022, will include a question on biological sex with the only answer options being male or female.
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), anyone who chooses not to declare their biological sex in the 2022 Census will automatically have male or female assigned to them. In defence of this stance, the CSO has said that “EU legislation requires the Census to ask this question and also dictates that the only answers that can be provided are male or female.”
The erasure of Trans, non-binary or gender-fluid persons from national statistics is not only harmful to Ireland’s perception of LGBTQ+ persons but effectively prevents the Government from recognising these groups as members of the Irish population.
The binary nature of the question on biological sex actively prevents those with an intersex condition from accurate representation.
To refuse to record people as who they are will create statistics that are clearly not fit for purpose.
The form itself features eight new questions on renewable energy sources, internet access, smoking, volunteering, and working from home, as well as 25 questions that have been reworked. But not the one about self-identification.
In a statement, a CSO spokesperson said, “There will be a public consultation later this year on what questions should go into the Census after the one scheduled for April.”
Also as part of this year’s census, the population is being asked to take part in a time capsule where their memories will be sealed until 2122.
Elsewhere on District: Irish Gig of the Week: The Mary Wallopers