Don’t forget to take part in Census Day 2021
Published: Thursday, February 18, 2021
Households across the country - including Wandsworth - are being asked to take part in Census Day 2021.
The census is run by the Office for National Statistics and is a once-in-a-decade survey that provides the most up-to-date and accurate snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941 when the country was at war.
The information is used to help deliver vital public services.
Using the data to understand the needs of the nation helps central government and organisations like councils and health authorities to plan and properly fund public services. Census information guides where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and GP surgeries and even bus routes.
Emergency services use the data to allocate resources and plan services based on a local area’s characteristics. In London the Metropolitan Police uses census information to help decide where its crime prevention efforts should be focused and to map potential crime hotspots.
Charities and voluntary organisations often use the information to apply for funding. It helps businesses better understand their customers and decide where to open new shops and offices. It also provides important information on population diversity, allowing organisations to know whether they are meeting their responsibilities and triggering action where necessary.
Census day is just a few weeks away on March 21, and will be compiled predominantly online, with all households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets. Residents can also request a paper questionnaire if they prefer.
It will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will 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.
Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics said: “The census provides a unique snapshot of our communities. It benefits everyone. Based on the information you give, it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GP’s and dentist’s services.
“No-one should miss out. Everyone can complete on online with a new search-as-you-type ability and paper forms for those who need them.”
For more information, and to find out how to get help, visit www.census.gov.uk or call the contact centre on 0800 141 2021.