Based on feedback from a number of groups and individuals, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is considering expanding the gender options for the 2021 census.
This would recognise individuals who don’t identify as male or female and would widen the definitions of gender.
The CSO’s consideration to expand this is in response to a number of submissions from a number of organisations including Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and BeLonG To.
A spokesperson for the CSO said that they have received telephone calls for many years from members of the public having difficulty with the limited gender options on the census form.
“If someone had an issue, we would advise that person that they could tick both the male and female boxes or else tick none of the boxes,” she said.
When a form is returned with both options blank or selected, it then enters a process whereby a selection is made at random in order to complete the census entry process.
The process for assessing the need for more gender inclusive options entails the roll out of a number of smaller surveys which will be send out to thousands of households at the beginning of next year.
This equality and discrimination survey will include specific questions on gender which will be more in depth then the usual pronouns.
A CSO statement to the Sunday Independent said: “CSO currently asks respondents to specify their sex, male or female. CSO has engaged with stakeholder groups to explore the development of statistics on gender identity.
“As part of this, CSO is planning an assessment of the inclusion of specific questions on gender identity in its household surveys.”
The exact size of Ireland’s transgender, intersex and non-binary populations is.
In Burning Issues 2, LGBT+ Census, which was conducted in 2015, 4% of all asked identified as non-binary, 3% as transgender, 2% identified as “other” and 0.4% identified intersex.
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