An experimental approach for balancing characteristics in the design of enumeration areas for 2021: Dividing up the Republic of Ireland

Paul Alexander (Central Statistics Office Ireland)

Geography is the bedrock of the traditional census operation. The first task which will profoundly influence each subsequent step during the census, is dividing the country into enumeration areas. Emerging from a prolonged period of suppressed economic activity, the urban landscape of Ireland is much changed from the last census. Therefore, for the next census, Ireland’s enumeration areas must be revised to reflect the reality that will face the field force in 2021. In this talk, Dr. Paul Alexander, a Geographer and Statistician working in the Central Statistics Office Ireland, will pose a fundamental spatial question: How do we balance key demographic and spatial characteristics when we break up the country for the field operation? The talk will touch on the use of geospatial demographic data, GWR and genetic algorithms in trying to answer this question.