The census is completed every 10 years in England and Wales, and by law, all households must complete their form.
Many households have already received the invite to the census and you can complete it now but remember to be thinking ahead of what your answers will be on census day, Sunday 21st March 2021. The census is about that particular day’s snapshot.
It will take about 10 minutes to complete the household questions and then a further 10 minutes for each individual person living in the household. The answers that are given will help to make decisions on planning and funding in public services in the area you live which include education, healthcare, and transportation.
The census has taken place every 10 years for England and Wales and has done since 1801, except in 1941 (WWII). The first census based on households took place in 1841. The population has changed dramatically since then and in 2011 over 26.4 million households were included.
No results from the census are likely until the end of 2022, however, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on working patterns and household composition will ensure the 2021 census provides a unique snapshot of history in the future.
For Scotland, the census date has been moved to March 2022 due to the impact of Covid-19.
Ireland has a different process with the census taking place every 5 years with the most recent one being in 2016. It is expected the 18th April 2021 is to be the next one for Ireland.
By law, the census needs to be completed and for all taking part, answers will go towards helping communities in getting the services that are needed in the next 10 years and beyond. Organisations such as local authorities and charities use this to plan ahead and fund development services and without the census, it would be more difficult to manage and to make judgments for funding.
Census 2021 will give up-to-date information to also understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has affected many people in many different ways.