The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport. The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales - the most detailed information we have about our society.
It is important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it would be more difficult to understand your community's needs and to plan and fund public services. In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales. Whether it is using census data to plan apprenticeship schemes, new bike lanes or nursery spaces, your information makes a difference.
Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you have made or payments or services that you receive cannot see it. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.
Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021.
You can fill you census in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know. There is support available to help you take part in the census if required.
We want to make sure the census informs us about all communities so that public services meet everyone's needs.
Ethnicity, religion and national identity
The ONS will ask you about your ethnicity, religion and national identity. you can identify with your chosen background, religion and national identity. If you cannot find the option you require, you can use the search-as-you-type function. Alternatively you can request a paper questionnaire. That will allow you to write in the identity that you feel most accurately represents you.
Sexual orientation and gender identity
Census 2021 asks voluntary questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time. This is to give us more accurate information on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. It will help organisations combat any inequalities these groups face and show where services are needed. The ONS will only ask people aged 16 and over these voluntary questions.
If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer seperately.
For the first time, the census will ask if you have served in the UK Armed Forces. The information you share will help us understand the numbers, locations and ages of our armed forces community. This will show where resources and services are needed to make sure those who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. You only need to answer this question if you are aged 16 years or above.
Remember, it is up to you to decide how you would like to answer each question. Do it in the way that you feel best represents you.
By filling in your census questionnaire, you are helping make sure you and your community get the services needed for the next 10 years and beyond. That is why it is so important to take part.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help or advice, visit www.census.gov.uk