By Leah Conway
The census survey takes place in the UK once every 10 years, the last one was in 2011 and census 2021 is fast approaching. This year the Census survey takes place on Sunday 21 March.
What is the Census?
The census is a survey that normally collects information from people in England, Wales and Scotland. However, this year Scotland has moved their census to March 2022. A form of the census has taken place in the UK since 1801.
Censuses reveal detailed information about the demographics of people in the UK. For the first time this year, the census has been ‘digital-first’, meaning people are first encouraged to fill it out online rather than a paper copy. The ONS hope to have a 75% response by the digital census form, which will enable them to release the information sooner.
Personal information from the census is safe and confidential by law for 100 years.
How to Fill in the Census:
By now, you should have received a letter about the census. The letter has a unique access code for your household’s census. You need to fill out your census before or on Sunday 21 March 2021.
People need to visit the government census site, select ‘Start Census” and entre the unique code.
You then answer the questions, which takes around 10 minutes per person, and then submit the form when it’s complete.
You can ring 0800 328 2021 to request a paper census.
If for any reason, you need to fill in the form separately to your household you can also request a unique code that will take precedent to any information inputted by your household. You can request a unique code here.
Furthermore, you can receive accessibility or language assistance with the census.
Who Should be Included?
- Everyone who usually lives here, even if they’re away from home on Sunday 21 March 2021
- Anyone from outside the UK staying here overnight who is in the UK for 3 months or more in total
- anyone from the UK staying here overnight who does not usually live here but has no other UK address
- Anyone staying overnight on 21 MArch who has another UK address should be included as a visitor.
Why is the Census Important?
The information collected by the census informs how the government develops policies, plans and how they run public services and allocated funding.
Furthermore, it is important for organisations such as local authorities and charities. They use census information to inform the planning and provisions of their services. Lastly, it simply creates the best pictures to reflect the people living in England and Wales at this moment in time.
Do I Have to Complete the Census?
Every household must complete its census by law. If you don’t fill in your census you could face prosecution and be fined £1000 with a criminal record.