The next Census will take place on 21 March 2021
What is the census?
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives The Office of National Statistics (ONS) a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. The census is unique. There's simply nothing else that gives so much detail about us and the society we live in.
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.
Past, present and future
The first census was in 1801 and the most recent in 2011. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England Wales and the next one will happen on Sunday 21 March 2021.
It's important you take part in the census. The information it gives has the power to make a real impact on our everyday lives.
The census is vital to all of us
Billions of pounds are allocated to local services using census-based information every year. So that these funds can be allocated in the most appropriate and effective ways, it's important the census accurately captures everyone in our society. By taking part, you'll be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.
Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.
What happens next?
You'll soon see advertisements on the TV and in newspapers and you will receive a postcard delivered to your home to remind you that the Census is happening.
At the beginning of March, you will receive an Information Pack in the post which will tell you all you need to know about completing the Census questionnaire. Remember, you complete one questionnaire per household.
Census information is anonymous, it's held securely, and it's not released for 100 years. However, it is a legal requirement for everyone to complete the Census - there's a £1000 fine for non-compliance.
2021 is the first year in which the Census is digital first. You'll be able to complete the questionnaire online, but if you don't have your own computer (or tablet or smart phone) you can ask a family member or someone else you trust to help you. If you'd prefer to fill in a paper questionnaire, the Information Pack will tell you how to ask for one.
You can start to complete the questionnaire (online or digital) as soon as you get it, but you should complete it no later than 21st March.
Please don't worry about filling in the questionnaire. You can get help from the special Census Help Line (the number will be in your Information Pack).
The Census 2021 website has all the information you need to complete the Census. www.census.gov.uk
The ONS is also hiring 30,000 field staff. Go to www.censusjobs.co.uk for more information.