21 March 2021 - Census Day

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. By taking part, you can help inform decisions about services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.

The Census will include questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand our community’s needs and plan and fund public services. Not only do councils and the NHS use this data but also charities when they need evidence and data for funding applications.

Census Day is on Sunday 21 March. In early March the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will send you a letter in the post with an access code and instructions. You can do your census online as soon as you get yours. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.

The ONS aim to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need help taking part in the census, there’s a wide range of support services available. You can request support for yourself, or someone else, including guidance and help in many languages and formats, a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer, and also accessible census guidance, for example, in braille. Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years - kept safe for future generations.

There is a help area on the census website www.census.gov.uk covering everything from who to include on the questionnaire to how to answer each question. There are also a range of local jobs with Census 2021 on offer and you can find out more at www.censusjobs.co.uk.

Interestingly, the census has a strong record of being carried out as it has taken place every decade since 1801 - with the exception of 1941, during World War Two. In fact, it even took place following the last pandemic involving the Spanish Flu in 1921. Keep updated on census news on the website www.census.gov.uk.