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The census is coming. By taking part, you can help to inform decisions on services that shape our communities.
The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire because the information you share affects the life of everyone living in England and Wales.
In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, GP surgeries or bike lanes. Without the information you share, it would be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.
Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Don't worry, government officials dealing with applications you’ve made, or payments or services 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 yours in online as soon as you get your letter with your unique access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s a wide range of support services available. These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print. If you need help or have any questions, visit census.gov.uk.
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. All kinds of organisations, from local authorities to charities, use the information to help provide the services we all need, including transport, education and healthcare. Without the census, it would be much more difficult to do this.
If you live in England and Wales, you must take part in the census. Census information helps inform how billions of pounds of public funding is spent. By taking around 10 minutes per person to fill in the census questionnaire, you will help make sure your community gets the services needed now and in the future.
No. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) carries out the census in England and Wales. The ONS is independent from government.
They will only ever publish anonymous information from the census. In fact, it’s a crime to share personal census information and anything you tell us is protected.
The census makes a difference to everyone. It’s a once-in-a-decade chance to have your voice heard and help inform the future of your local area.
The census asks you about your ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, religion and national identity. It’s up to you to decide how you would like to answer each question. Do it in the way that you feel best represents you.
This census 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.
This will help organisations combat any inequalities these groups face and show where services are needed.
The ONS will only ask people aged 16 years and over these 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 separately.
No. The information you share in the census cannot be used to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or your taxes. The ONS is independent from government. This means officials dealing with payments or services you receive cannot see your census information.
We know there are some people who will find this challenging. That’s why the ONS are here to help with a wide range of support services.
If a friend or family member needs support, please help them if you can. Always fill in your own census first. You can also ask for help for yourself, or for someone else.