Census night will take place on Sunday 30 May.
Letters are being sent out this week to every household in the Island ahead of the process, which is held every 10 years.
The Isle of Man’s first census was held 200 years ago, in 1821, and recorded an Island population of 40,081.
Since then, it’s taken place every 10 years and has helped supply information and data to enable the Isle of Man Government to plan services, shape policies and observe societal trends.
The first interim census was held in 1966, with a population of 49,312, and is run five years after each full census.
A major change with this year’s census is that people are being strongly encouraged to complete the process online rather than using paper forms.
Letters being sent out this week will include a 10-digit access code to be used when filling in the online form.
The online form will then guide users through the process to ensure households only answer the questions that apply to them.
Respondents will notice that the online form is available when the letters first arrive and can be completed then.
Information should, however, only be supplied which relates to a household at their usual place of residence on Sunday 30 May.
If a household, or someone from that household, is staying overnight elsewhere on Sunday, they should only be included on the form which relates to their home address.
It is important to note that while forms should be completed with information which is accurate to this date they do not need to be completed by this date.
Forms can be completed up to Monday 14 June, after which census officers will start to chase responses for a period of up to six weeks.
Only after this process has been completed will notice letters be sent out which may lead to prosecution for any households which refuse to engage with the process.
Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘The census is an incredibly important public tool, providing a clear picture of where people live and work, and helping Government to plan services in particular areas.
‘Its value has been proven time and again since the first census was held exactly 200 years ago, and I encourage everyone to engage with the process and help provide an accurate snapshot in time.’
Alternative options on how to complete the form are available to those who need it - by phone, in person at the census office or using paper forms.
Anyone requiring assistance should contact the census team by calling +44 1624 685700 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Census Office, at Nivison House (formerly the Job Centre) on Prospect Hill, Douglas, will be open from 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, from Monday 24 May.
All households have a legal obligation to complete the census. Those which don’t face prosecution for failing to provide the requested information.
Why is the census important and what is it used for?
- The census provides a lot of information about the makeup of the Island that the Isle of Man Government can’t get from elsewhere.
- It provides data on the makeup of the population for Health and Social Care, such as showing the age of our society, where older people are clustered and where services might be best located to be easily accessed by the most people.
- It provides data on our younger population which helps schools and children’s services plan future demand for primary, secondary and further education.
- Local authorities use census data to help them plan their services and see how their areas are changing (age, population, where they are working)
- It provides data on which areas people live in and work in, which helps plan what areas should offer e.g. towns which people travel to during the day will want to offer different goods and services to towns whose population is only there in the evenings and weekends.
- It provides a picture of the jobs and economic sectors that the workforce is currently involved in.
- Population and household data is vital to establishing the Island’s area plans, and helps to inform the release of land for property development.
- It helps provide the basis of population forecasting, which is used throughout Government for future services, pensions reform, healthcare, schools, roads and other infrastructure.