It’s almost time for the Census! The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has asked us to help encourage people to complete the Census and has provided us with the answers to some of the questions you may have about this year’s Census.

What is the census?

The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. All kinds of organisations, from local authorities to charities, use the information to help provide the services we all need, including transport, education and healthcare. Without the census, it would be much more difficult to do this.

Do I have to take part?

If you live in England and Wales, you must take part in the census. Census information helps inform how billions of pounds of public funding is spent. By taking around 10 minutes per person to fill in the census questionnaire, you will help make sure your community gets the services needed now and in the future.

When should I fill in my census questionnaire?

Census Day is Sunday 21 March – but people who usually live in your household on this date – even if you’re filling it in before then. If your household circumstances change
on Census Day, you can let us know.

What if I cannot fill in my census questionnaire online?

We know there are some people who will find this challenging. That’s why the ONS is offering a wide range of support services including help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media a large print paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer accessible
census guidance, for example, in braille.

Letters with the access codes (to complete online) and the paper questionnaires will start arriving 3rd to 13th March.

You can request large print questionnaires through

a) the contact centre (0800 141 2021) from 1st March
b) the website
C) when a field officer knocks at their door (this starts 22/03)
d) any family member/friend/community contact can request one on your behalf

You can also call the contact centre and an agent will complete the electronic questionnaire over the telephone for you.

A braille guidance booklet can be requested through the contact centre or on the website and access videos (BSL and audio and subtitles) will be available on the website from 22nd

No official ONS field officer will ever enter the household or ask for payment.

Remember, it is a legal requirement to complete with a fine of up to £1000 for
non-completion, so if you need help to complete the questionnaire, please seek support as outlined above.