Census 2021

Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. Census is a national survey that takes place once every 10 years.

Dates What will happen
22 to 27 February You will receive a postcard from the ONS. This will ask you to look out for your initial contact pack.
3 to 12 March You will receive your initial content pack from the ONS with a unique code that you will need to complete the survey online.
21 March This is the day the census will take place

What to expect from a census

The census asks questions about who you and those in your household are and how you live. The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) design the census to help build a true picture of our society. There is no other survey that gathers as much information about us and our area’s future needs.

The information you give helps decide how the government plan and fund services in your area.

This could include things like:

  • schools

  • doctors’ surgeries

  • emergency services

  • housing

  • roads

  • new bus routes

  • local support groups

Data gathered during the census assists a wide range of organisations in their work. All information is anonymous. General results will be available within 12 months. The ONS lock personal records away for 100 years. This is to keep them safe for future generations.

The ONS runs the census in England and Wales. You can find out more from the ONS Census 2021 website.


Why you should take part in the census

By taking part, you’ll be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.

A total of 94% of people took part in the last census in 2011, helping each area receive its share of public funding. Without the census, it would be difficult to provide the services you and your community need. Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.

It is easy to take part and is now available online. After living with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, census 2021 is essential. It will help everyone to understand the health, social and economic impacts it has had on people.


Moving the census online

The ONS would like as many people as possible to submit their questionnaire online in 2021. The ONS designed the census to be easy to complete. It should only take around 10 minutes per person and is available on any device. This includes a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Most people will get a letter through the post. This will contain a unique access code on it and instructions on what to do next.

Don’t worry though if you are unable to complete the census online, paper copies are still available. A support centre will also be available to help you if you need it.


Completing the census is a legal requirement

You must complete the census by law. The ONS can fine you up to £1000 if you do if you do not complete the survey, or if you supply incorrect information. The census contains some optional questions: it is not an offence if you do not answer these.


Getting help with your census form

The ONS are operating a national Census Contact Centre. This provides a range of different versions of the census. These include different languages and accessible formats, including large print. You can telephone or email their Contact Centre to contact them.

Telephone: 0800 141 2021 (available Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm)

Email: [email protected]

For more help and advice on completing your census form, you can also visit the census website. This website will tell you what support is available.


Gypsy & Irish Traveller or Roma

The Traveller Movement has developed a workshop to explain how to fill in this year’s census. The workshop also explains why it is important to tick the Gypsy & Irish Traveller or Roma box. The session will be co-hosted by Roma Support Group and includes speakers from the ONS. They will answer any questions you may have in this workshop.

The Traveller Movement Workshop - Stand up and be Counted, Census 2021

Date: 17 March

Time: 17:30hrs

Link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D7-KMR3zQBmvd6HtNm5N-A


Where can I find out more?

For more information about the 2021 census, you can visit the official census website


Job opportunities with census 2021

A range of temporary jobs are on offer in the build up to the census. Vacancies are being advertised on the census jobs recruitment website. (link to - www.censusjobs.co.uk)

This website features all the current Census 2021 roles available. It also features application information and FAQs. They provide the views of people who’ve worked on the census before in a series of video profiles.

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