With the Deputy Speaker’s permission, I will take questions 3 and 12 together. A census key statistics release will be published as a printed report at the end of December 2002. That will provide basic counts on each census question at Northern Ireland and district council levels. It will include, among other things, information on religion, employment and general health. Similar statistics for ward and sub-ward output areas, of which there are approximately 5,000, will be made available on compact disc and on the census web site. Standard area statistics that provide detailed cross-tabulations required by census users are planned for the first half of next year. They will comprise a printed report at Northern Ireland level with 900,000 further cross-tabulations at local authority ward and sub-ward output area level. The report will be available on compact disc, on high-capacity digital versatile disc and on the census web site.
A census output prospectus, which details the form and content of census outputs, is available on the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency web site, and that will be updated as necessary. The Department of Finance and Personnel plans to release census outputs in accordance with a timescale set out at the beginning of the process.
I thank all those who participated in, and worked on, the 2001 census: the public who took the time to complete and return the forms; the 3,000-strong field force of enumerators and supervisory staff who worked to deliver and, where necessary, collect the forms; and the census office staff who undertook the processing and reporting of the forms. It was a major exercise, and considerable value will be drawn from it for the future planning of services for which the Department is responsible.
The first set of census results was published a few weeks ago. The details related to the gender breakdown across Northern Ireland at district council and ward levels. They were released in accordance with the timetable set out at the beginning of the census process, and in parallel with the release of similar information in England, Scotland and Wales. There has been no undue delay in the release of data, but an exercise of the scale of a census requires a considerable period of processing and a timetable for the release of the various parts of the data that have been collected. The next tranche of data will be released towards the end of the year, and it will contain the information that I have highlighted.