Census 2021

All about the 2021 Census, when it is, why it is important that you take part and how the data that is collected will be used.


Census help for the Roma and Traveller communities

The Traveller Movement has developed an online workshop to explain how to fill in this year's census and why it is important to tick the Gypsy and Irish Traveller or Roma box. The session will be co-hosted by Roma Support Group and will include speakers from the Office for National Statistics who can answer any of your questions.

The Traveller Movement Workshop - Stand up and be Counted, Census 2021

Date:  17 March
Time:  Starts at 5:30pm
How to join: You will need to register to join the online workshop.

Register now

Video help

The Traveller Movement has produced a video to encourage members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community to complete the census.

You can see the census help video on Your Tube.


The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941 and is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Census banner - the census is a unique survey that takes place every 10 years in England and Wales


Census day

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census 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.

It should  only take around 10 minutes per person to complete. It's easy to do and can be done on any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Why it is important

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

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.

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.

Getting help with your census form

If you need help to complete your census form the help pages at census.gov.uk tell you what support you can get. This includes general guidance, language assistance and a wide range of accessible formats including video and audio guides (English and Welsh). You can also phone the contact centre on 0800 169 2021 or visit one of the census support centres offering assistance.

If you don't fill out the census

If you don't complete your census questionnaire you could face prosecution, a hefty fine (up to £1000) and a criminal record.


Additional information

Visit census.gov.uk for more information, and any questions you have, about the census.

ONS Purple Plaques scheme which aims to recognise 22 people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community.

2011 Census - Office for National Statistics

2001 Census - Office for National Statistics

Census data 1801-1991 - For UK censuses 1801-1991, printed data reports are available. A small amount of data is available online from the 1991 Census

A vision of Britain through time - collection of maps, data, much drawn from the census reports and other resources

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