What the 2011 Census means for Ballymoney

BALLYMONEY Census Area Manager, Paul Dickey is urging Ballymoney to ‘Help Tomorrow Take Shape’ by completing the 2011 questionnaire.

In a statement to the Times, Paul explained: “Census Day is Sunday 27th March 2011. On this day the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, which is responsible for the Census in Northern Ireland, is calling every man, woman and child in Ballymena and Ballymoney to be included in the 2011 Census.

“People in Ballymoney can take part by completing the paper questionnaire which will be delivered to their house – or for the first time in Census history – complete the form online. Most of the forms will be delivered in the week beginning Monday 14 March. “

Census Day will be the culmination of years of meticulous planning by the team at NISRA – ten years on from the last Census that ran in April 2001. The 2011 Census in Ballymoney is co-ordinated with the rest of Northern Ireland and England, Wales and Scotland to provide comparable Census results.

Paul outlined why it is important for everyone in Ballymoney to take part: “The simple fact is that knowing how many people live in the Ballymena and Ballymoney area, allows us to understand what types of services they need now and in the future. The statistics gathered by the Census will affect the future development of local communities and particularly future policy on important services such as houses, schools and roads. ”

The Census provides an estimate of the population of Northern Ireland and is held every ten years. Everyone is asked the same questions on the same day to get an accurate snapshot of the population.

Robert Beatty, from NISRA, who is responsible for the operation of the Census, explains how it will work: “A Census questionnaire will be sent to every household in Northern Ireland. The form should be completed on Sunday 27th March or as soon as possible afterwards - and posted back in the pre-paid envelope provided.

“Those who wish can complete the questionnaire online using the access code number, which they will find on the paper form. The number is unique for each household to ensure that their information is kept secure and confidential.

“Anyone living in the Ballymoney area who needs assistance or more information can visit the website www.census.gov.uk/ni.

“Locally, the census will be supported by Census Area Managers and other staff who may visit any household that has not completed and returned their questionnaire. It is very important that everyone completes their form – it really will help tomorrow take shape.”

It is a top priority to keep participants Census data both secure and confidential. The data is protected by law and all Census personnel sign an undertaking to protect the privacy of information.

For further information please log on to www.census.gov.uk/ni or www.nidirect.gov.uk/2011-census.