The first results of Northern Ireland’s latest census are expected to be released in June.
The survey, described as a “gigantic task”, takes place every 10 years and gathers information on the general population.
One of the aspects particularly watched in the census of the region is any percentage change in the religious origin of the population and the potential political implications if a majority seems likely to favor a united Ireland.
The 2011 census indicated that 48.4% of the population of Northern Ireland were of Protestant or Christian origin, 45.1% of Catholic origin and 7% claiming to belong to another religion or none.
The first results on population statistics will be released by June, with further results released in stages through summer 2023.
Census director Dr David Marshall said there had been a “fantastic response” to the census.
With a return rate of 97.2%, the 2021 census recorded the highest level of engagement since the 1991 census.
“I want to thank everyone who responded. It was great to see people playing their part in shaping public services and helping government departments, businesses, charities and other organizations understand the needs of our people,” he said.
“The census is a gigantic exercise and we work hard to process, code and ensure the quality of census data.
“The first results will be published by June 2022 – in just a few months.
“We will also release key statistics on equality and identity later this year.”
More than 80% of census declarations were made online, a significant jump from less than 20% during the last census in 2011.
The census website recorded approximately one million user sessions during the operational period, while the census contact center handled more than 160,000 local telephone calls to help the public complete their returns, and some 1,500 local enumerators, working under Covid-19 guidelines, conducted 375,000 address visits to help the public complete their returns.