The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.
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 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, including local authorities, use the information to help provide the services we all need. 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.
It's important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it'd be more difficult to understand your community's needs and to plan and fund public services.
In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it's through using census information to plan new schools, doctors' surgeries or cycle lanes.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.
Ahead of Census Day (Sunday 21 March), the ONS will send you a letter in the post with an access code and instructions.
The ONS aim to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need help taking part in the census, there will be a wide range of support services available.
You can request support for yourself, or someone else, including:
- guidance and help in many languages and formats
- a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer
- accessible census guidance, for example, in braille
There will be a help area on the census website. It covers everything from who to include on the questionnaire to how to answer each question.
If you cannot find what you need there, a dedicated contact centre will be available where census staff will be on hand to give help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media.
Census 2021 will be the first digital-first census. It can be done on any device. When you receive your letter and access code from the ONS, simply go online and enter the code into the secure website to get started.
If you can't get online or need help completing the census online, there'll be Census Support Centres across England and Wales.
National information about the 2021 Census is available at www.census.gov.uk.