A census of every household in the UK will be held this March. Each person in every household will be asked for basic information about themselves to help the government plan how to deliver key everyday services. By law you have to complete the census and can face a big fine if you don’t.
A census is a count of the population. A census is held every ten years to find out more about the people that make up the UK.
Each person in every household in the UK is asked for some basic information about themselves. This helps the government decide how best to plan and deliver everyday services – like housing, education, healthcare and transport.
The census will take place on 27 March 2011 and you will get your questionnaire in the middle of March. You can complete the census online from 4 March.
You will need to complete your questionnaire on or around this date so that a snapshot can be taken of the population as it stands on one day. This will help give an accurate picture for the whole country. Many economic and social decisions are then influenced and /or taken because of the data collected.
The answers you give should be about the people living or staying with you on that day, even if you fill in your questionnaire before, on, or after 27 March 2011.
You will need to complete it online, or fill in the paper questionnaire and send it back as soon as you have completed it.
If you haven’t returned your questionnaire by 6 April, a census collector will call after that date to offer any help you need.
You are required by law to complete the census.
You’ll be able to answer most questions simply by ticking a box. If there isn’t a box that applies to you, you will be able to write or type your answer in the space provided.
You will be able to complete your questionnaire before, on, or soon after census day, 27 March. Just make sure your answers are about the people living or staying overnight in your household on that day.
Complete the census online
You will be able to complete your questionnaire online from 4 March.
The paper questionnaire will arrive by post in March. The paper questionnaire will have a code on the front – this will be your key to unlock your online questionnaire.
Just go to the census website, ‘Click to fill it in’ and follow the on-screen instructions.
When you’ve finished, click ‘Submit’ to send your information.
Filling in the paper questionnaire
If you don’t have access to the internet, or prefer not to do it online, you will be able to fill in the paper questionnaire.
After you’ve completed it, sign the declaration on the front and post the questionnaire back in the pre-paid envelope provided.
Help with the Census
- online – (from 4 March) visit the census website for help in English and Welsh – you don’t have to be filling the census online to get this help
- by phone – (from 4 March) call 0300 0201 101 in England, or 0300 0201 130 in Wales, for help in English, Welsh and over 50 other languages (calls charged at local rate)
- in person – census collectors will visit households that have not returned their questionnaire by 6 April – they can answer questions and help you fill it in
Other help available includes British Sign Language (BSL) video, audio and Braille guides, large print questionnaires, translation guides and an Easy Read booklet.
The Census in Scotland
The census is also taking place in Scotland on 27 March 2011. However, the census in Scotland will work slightly differently to the census in England and Wales.
Follow the link below for further information.
Scotland’s Census LINK http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/en/
The Census in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland will also be holding a census on 27 March 2011.
For information on the census in Northern Ireland, visit the nidirect website by following the link below.
Northern Ireland Census LINK
25th February 2011