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. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941 and provides a wide range of data from a national to a local level.
This will be the first census run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.
The survey will ask people to provide information about their household based on their circumstances on a single day – Census Day (Sunday 21 March 2021) – so that it captures a clear picture and comparable data. However, households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.
The Office of National Statistics, who is responsible for the census, has included questions about respondents’ sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. For the first time, there will also 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.
Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr Rick Everitt, said:
“The census statistics are very important for local authorities. They affect the amount of funding a local area receives. They also provide essential information on different demographic groups living in the area, which helps with the planning, development and delivery of local services.
“I hope that 2021’s census is completed by as many people as possible, of all ages and backgrounds from right across our district. We are living in extraordinary times and taking part gives us all an opportunity to contribute to the record and highlight, share and reflect on the changes that we have all made during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said:
“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed.
“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”
Generalised results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
Information about how community groups can support the census can be found at https://census.gov.uk/why-your-help-is-vital (opens in a new window).
There are also a range of downloadable resources to help. They can be accessed at https://census.gov.uk/downloadable-resources (opens in a new window).
There is also an opportunity for primary and secondary aged children to be involved and learn all about how the Census works and the unique data-set that it captures. Schools across Thanet are being encouraged to take part – more details are available at http://census.gov.uk/education.
For more information and to get the latest updates on Census 2021, visit www.census.gov.uk