Census 2021

Information provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Visit the ONS website for the latest 2021 Census data publications and planned data releases for 2023.

accordion | Census 2021

What is the Census?

The Census is a once in a decade survey that gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information we have about our society. The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in North Kesteven. By taking part in the Census, you can help inform decisions on services that shape our community, such as healthcare, education and transport.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are and how we live. There’s no other survey that gives as much information about our society and future needs. Without the information you share, it’s more difficult to understand our community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.

When is it happening?

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. However, households will receive a letter in the post in early March, providing details on how to take part in the mandatory survey. Households will also receive a unique access code, inviting them to complete the survey online, although paper questionnaires are available on request.

Why should I take part?

The Census helps us understand what our society needs now and what it will likely need in the future. The information it collects helps with decisions on the planning and funding of services in each local area, which could include schools, doctors’ surgeries, emergency services or even local support groups. Charities also use Census data to find information out about the communities they are working in and help them receive funding. Businesses can use the data to understand their customers, whilst academics and students utilise the information to support research they are working on. Furthermore, genealogists use old Census records for researching family and local history, as Census records are released to members of the public 100 years after the Census took place. 

How long will it take?

The Census will take around 10 minutes per person to complete. However, it’s easy to do and can be done on any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Even though Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021, you can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.

What if I don’t speak English or Welsh?

Translation booklets are available to download. However, if your language is not represented, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 0800 141 2021.

Who is running the Census?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the Census in England and Wales and is independent from the government. In terms of data protection and safety, there is a strict security regime that follows government standards. This includes physical and IT security measures to protect data, covering people, processes and technology. All systems, staff and suppliers must protect confidentiality by law, and it is a crime for anyone to share personal information. The ONS only publishes anonymous statistics from the Census and does not publish anyone’s name. They only ask for people to help ensure the statistics are accurate, for example, to help the ONS make sure that each person is only counted once. Census records will be kept secure for 100 years and, only then, can future generations view them, for example, those interested in family history. 

How can I get help to complete my questionnaire?

Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the Census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there is a wide range of support services available. These include providing help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print. You can also phone the Contact Centre on 0800 141 2021. There is further information on census.gov.uk.