Census 2011 - Mary urges the Irish in Wakefield to get involved
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has urged people in Wakefield to consider their Irish heritage when responding to this year’s census. Second generation Irish people are traditionally under-represented in the census which is carried out by the Office of National Statistics every 10 years. This year’s Census Day is Sunday 27th March.
A recent Economic and Social Research study of the 2001 census found that 80% of second generation Irish people had not ticked the White Irish box. For those with an Irish-born mother 96% had not ticked the Irish box; and for those with an Irish-born father 97% had not ticked the Irish box.
The research concluded that many people with Irish parents did not know they could tick the Irish box even though they were born in England. Mary Creagh is supporting the How Irish Are You? campaign which is raising awareness and spreading the word that you don’t have to be born in Ireland to be Irish.
Of 315,172 residents in the Wakefield district at the time of the last census, just 0.4%, or 1,300, ticked the “White Irish” ethnicity box.
Mary Creagh said: “You don’t have to be born in Ireland to be Irish. Research has shown that up to 80% of people like me, with two Irish parents, do not tick the Irish box on the Census even though they are eligible. There are probably a lot more people with Irish heritage in Wakefield than the 1300 who ticked the Irish box last time.
“The Irish have a long history of settling in Wakefield, with many coming to work in the coal mines in the late 19th Century. I’m supporting the How Irish Are You? campaign and I hope people will consider their heritage when filling in their census forms this week.”
The Irish in Britain have made, and continue to make, an enormous contribution to society. The How Irish Are You? Campaign aims to increase the number of second generation Irish people ticking the Irish box on Census Day. For more information visit www.howirishareyou.com