West Fermanagh chosen as guinea pig for new census

THE PEOPLE of west Fermanagh are to be guinea pigs for the next census. 
While the census is not due to happen until March 2021, over 4,000 households in the west of the county will have to take part in a ‘test run’ of the process this October, over a year-and-a-half before the rest of the North. With a number of major changes to the next census, including a new digital format, Craigavon and a part of Belfast will also be used as “rehearsal areas.”
 While it will be funded by Northern Ireland Statistics and Rearch Agency, the local Council will be supporting the local census rehearsal by promoting it on social media and by liaising with local community groups. 
“This will be a full rehearsal of all topics and questions across 4,300 households in west Fermanagh,” said a Council spokesman. “It is an end-to-end test of system processes, aiming to test the readiness for the 2021 Census.”
The spokesman added the information collected from the west Fermanagh census this October would not be available for use, meaning households in the area will have to take part all over again in March 2021. 
New additions on the census will include questions on renewable energy in homes, sexual orientation, and the use of Irish and Ulster Scots. 

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