What is the purpose of the census?
The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.
It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
The census is important as it will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed, like hospitals, schools, and new roads. The census consists of a variety of questions including some about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity.
When will the census occur?
The census took place on 21 March 2021.
How to complete your census questionnaire
You can complete your census online. Although Census Day has now passed, it is still not too late to complete the census. If you do not complete the census, you may have to pay a fine of up to £1,000.
Households should have now received a letter with a unique access code. This code will allow you to complete the questionnaire on your computer, phone or tablet. For those that struggle completing the census online there is help available from the Census team, along with paper questionnaires for those that need them.
This year's census features some new questions for armed forces veterans, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Census field staff have now started calling at those households who have not completed their census. Census officers will follow social distancing and Covid safe guidelines.
If you are concerned that the person on your doorstep is not a genuine census official please be aware that:
- Census officers will carry an ID card with their photograph and name
- Census officers will not call before 9am or after 8pm
- They will never ask for money or bank details
- They will never need to enter someone's home
- Census officers will have census leaflets and paper questionnaires with them
Should you still be concerned, you can ring the Census contact centre for advice on 0800 141 2021.
Results will be available within 12 months.
Personal records will however be locked away for a 100 years and kept safe for future generations.
More information about the census can be found on the Census 2021 website.