The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales and provides the most detailed information available about our society.
Census Day is Sunday, 21 March 2021. Every household will have received a letter in the post with a unique access code to complete the questionnaire online. You can use this to fill in your online census return as soon as you receive it. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “I urge you to fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it would be more difficult to understand the needs of your community and the wider borough to plan and fund public services.
“In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in Ealing, England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, doctors’ surgeries or even play equipment in parks.”
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. This means that government or local council officers dealing with applications you have made or payments or services you receive cannot see the information you provide on your census form.
The census asks you about your ethnicity, national identity and a voluntary question about your religion. For the first time, it also asks anyone aged 16 years or over about service in the UK Armed Forces and a voluntary question about gender identity and sexual orientation.
It is up to you to decide how you would like to answer each question. Do it in the way that you feel best represents you. You can identify as you wish by using search-as-you-type online and write-in options on paper.
If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer separately.
The ONS aim to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need help taking part in the census, there is 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 is 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 is a dedicated contact centre where census staff will be on-hand to give help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media. Call free of charge 0800 141 2021.