Belfast Telegraph

Census must include state of health

People will be required to reveal the state of their health in a census form for the first time.

The answers will be used to provide an overview of the health of the nation.

Households will receive the Census 2011 questionnaire over the next three weeks and are legally obliged to complete and return it.

Newly-appointed Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe said it is important that everyone in the Republic is included in the study.

"This is a very important time for Ireland. As a society we are faced now with making crucial decisions about our future and it is imperative that we have accurate and objective information on which to base those decisions," said Mr Kehoe.

"The census is the most comprehensive and valuable of these information sources. It is critical therefore that everyone in the state on census night is included in preparing this accurate and up-to-date picture of Ireland."

Census enumerators will begin delivering forms to households from Friday and on census night, April 10, residents will be asked to answer questions ranging from religion to education, marital status and the type of accommodation they are living in.

Aidan Punch, Central Statistics Office assistant director general, said it would pursue people who fail to take part in the study, with dodgers facing a fine of up to 25,000 euro.

The CSO said the answers from the health question, where people will be asked to rate their health from "very good" to "very bad", will provide a picture of the health of the country and how it is related to various factors such as age.

It is estimated the form will take 30 minutes to complete and enumerators will pick them up within three weeks of census night.

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From Belfast Telegraph