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Census – what is it and why is it so important?

By FLtt 10 Mar 2021

What is the census?

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. The next census that you can take part in is taking place on Sunday 21st March 2021.

Why does it need completing?

You must complete the census by law. Everyone in England and Wales must complete a census or be included on a census for the place where they’re living or staying. Every householder at an address is responsible for completing a census questionnaire for their household. The householder should either answer the individual questions for all household members or make sure each member answers their own.

By answering the census survey, you will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare.

What are the consequences for not completing it?

It is an offence to supply false information or to not complete the census, and you could be fined up to £1,000. Please note that if a question is labelled a voluntary, you don’t have to answer those.

The census during the coronavirus pandemic

Census 2021 will provide fresh information to improve the understanding of the pandemic. This could include meeting the needs of hospitals, schools, universities and job centres.

Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that people are encouraged to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet.

If you need help, you can access an online help area on the website which offers help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

Where can you find it?

The census survey can be found online, by following the link below:

You will need the 16-character access code to start the survey.

Who to contact if you haven’t received the code?

You can request a new access code to start a new census if you have lost or not received an access code. You can find it here:

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