Census 2011 results support more effective decision-making thanks to GeoDirectory

1 July 2011

Today sees the publication of preliminary results of Census 2011 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).  Ireland has been conducting Censuses of its population since 1821 and the results are an essential policy and planning tool for local government, business and other bodies. But this year, one Irish company, GeoDirectory, has helped the CSO to collect and publish more geographically accurate, useful and granular data than ever before.

Previously, Census data was only published nationally by Electoral Division, and as these geographically defined areas can have a population of up to 32,000 people, in-depth data analysis was not always possible. However, with the support of GeoDirectory and its database of residential and commercial buildings, Census 2011 data can now be analysed and published by Small Area level, each comprising 75 - 150 households. This allows more localised and granular analysis of date and enables more effective decision-making by local government, public bodies and business.

By using GeoDirectory alongside Census data, local government and public bodies can ensure services are located in areas where they are most needed, e.g., new schools are located in areas with young families. Businesses can also use the data to better understand their customers and target their sales, e.g., a telecommunications company tailoring offers on international calls to areas with a high proportion of international residents.

Speaking about Census 2011 and the role of GeoDirectory, Padraig Dalton, CSO Director of Social and Demographic Statistics said “GeoDirectory has not only helped us in identifying buildings across the country, but the linking of each building to a precise geocode, which allows analysis at Small Area level, enables us to undertake more detailed and accurate geographical analysis than ever before”

“We are proud to be involved with such a pivotal public exercise as Census 2011, and we fully expect that services, whether provided through public or private organisations, will benefit from the availability of more granular and geographically accurate data”, said GeoDirectory’s CEO, Dara Keogh.

The Preliminary results of Census 2011 published today will be supplemented with principal demographic results expected before April 2012, with all results published before the end of 2012.


GeoDirectory, jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), manages Ireland’s only database of residential and commercial buildings, in which each building is assigned a precise geocode. GeoDirectory has been used by the CSO as the primary method for identification of buildings across the country, and also allows more detailed geographical analysis of Census 2011 data.

The GeoDirectory database is used by many different companies and organisations across a diverse range of applications. The Emergency Services use GeoDirectory for route optimisation when responding to 999 calls, saving valuable minutes and lives in time-critical situations. Similarly companies like Dominos Pizza use GeoDirectory for address location to ensure that delivery times are met. In the property sector, GeoDirectory is used by Daft.ie and the Property Registration Authority. In addition, utility companies, banking and insurance providers, and all local authorities use the database.

Each of the 1.8 million building records contained in GeoDirectory includes an accurate standardised postal address; usage details for each building (commercial or residential); a unique 8-digit identity number or fingerprint; and x, y coordinates which accurately locate the centre point of each building to within one metre on the National Grid.

The database is updated quarterly by OSi and An Post.

For further information please contact:

Séamus Carey
Wilson Hartnell Public Relations
Tel: +353 1 669 0030
Email: seamus.carey@ogilvy.com