Census 2021 – Everything You Need To Know About The 2021 Census
In March 2021, households across England and Wales will be asked to take in part in the 2021 census. Census day is Sunday 21st March; however, households will be able to complete the census from early March.
This guide to the 2021 census includes everything you need to know, including answers to FAQs. Head to www.census.gov.uk for further information.
What Is The UK Census?
The census is a survey taken every decade, organised by The Office of National Statistics (ONS), which first occurred in 1801. The census has happened every ten years since its inception, with the exception of 1941 (due to disruption from the Second World War).
The census provides an accurate estimate of all people and households in England and Wales. The demographic information collected is used to inform decisions about funding and resourcing concerning schooling, transport, healthcare and more. By updating population information every 10 years, public spending and services can be adjusted to the ever-changing needs of the population.
An initial set of census reports should be published by the ONS about a year after the 2021 census day.
Why Take Part In The Census?
94% of people took part in the 2011 census. The information collected is important for understanding the needs of society, creating projections for future needs, and planning fund services. Local authorities, charities, and businesses use the census statistics to organise funding, better meet the needs of society and create opportunity.
Questions in the census survey include information about your household. Topics the questions will cover include household size, ethnicity, sex, age, work, health, and education.
The 2021 census is the first to include a question about whether people have served in the armed forces. It will also be the first to include voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
What Happens to My Data?
Personal records are locked away for 100 years. Only general statistics are released following the census survey; no one can identify individuals from statistics released. There are laws in place to ensure personal data is not shared or sold by the ONS.
Read more about the rules around census data here.
Is It Illegal to Not Complete The Census?
Yes. According to The Census Act 1920, it is compulsory for everyone in England and Wales to complete the census. Failure to do so, or supplying false information, can result in a fine up to £1,000.
Some questions are voluntary and therefore you can choose whether to answer them or not. Instructions will be clear and there will be various options for help should any confusion arise.
How Is The Census Taking Place During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
The ONS is taking precautions to keep the public and staff safe. The 2021 census is digital-first, meaning people will be encouraged to respond online where possible.
There will be various sources of help available for those who need it via phone, webchat, email, social media, and text messages. Paper copies of the census will also be available.
Census Field Officers, who visit households that have not submitted a census form, will wear personal protective equipment and follow government guidelines.
Take Part In The Census
Households don’t have to do anything yet. Closer to the census day, forms will be sent out with unique access codes. Once you have received a code, input it on the secure website, and fill in the census. Instructions will be clear and available in multiple languages.