What questions are on the 2021 census?

What questions are on the 2021 census?

March 13, 2021

IT’S nearly time for the decennial census in England and Wales.

Census 2021 is organised by the Office of National Statistics in England and Wales and it has said it will still take place despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

What questions are on the 2021 census?

According to a House of Commons briefing paper published on March 8, 2021 the census collects a wide range of demographic information about topics like age, sex, marital status, health, education and housing.

There will be three new questions in the 2021 census, covering:

• Veteran status: whether the respondent has ever served in the UK Armed Forces.

• Sexual orientation: whether the respondent identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, or some other sexual orientation. This question will be voluntary and only asked of respondents aged 16 and over.

• Gender identity: whether the respondent’s gender is different from the sex they were registered as at birth.

This question will also be voluntary and limited to respondents aged 16 and over.

When does the 2021 census have to be completed by?

Every household should complete the census on Sunday, March 21, 2021 or as soon as possible after. 

The census should take about 10 minutes for the household questions and 10 minutes per person.

It is hoped that most people will complete the census online.

What happens if you don't complete the census 2021?

Under the law it is an offence not to complete the census.

The government’s briefing paper states: “Persons refusing to comply with the statutory requirement will be offered encouragement and assistance to do so, but if they continue to refuse, may be liable to legal proceedings.

“This may include prosecution, possibly resulting in a fine (the maximum level of which is currently £1,000) and a criminal record.”

The ONS aims to achieve a 94% response rate across England and Wales, and a response rate of at least 80% in each local authority.

Prosecution for non-completion of a census form has been relatively rare. There were 286 cases taken to court for non-completion following the 2011 census, of which 270 resulted in convictions.

Can I refuse to complete the census 2021?

No. There is a statutory requirement to complete a census return.

Your local council can provide help if needed or you have difficulty completing it.

There is also a helpline.

If you live in England: telephone free: 0800 141 2021

If you live in Wales: telephone free: free: 0800 169 2021 (available in English or Welsh).

You can also send a text message on 86677.

When was the last census?

A population census takes place in the UK every ten years with the last one taking place in 2011.

The census seeks to collect demographic information from all households and communal establishments.

Census data contributes to policy decisions and provides a benchmark for other official statistics.

A census has taken place every ten years in Great Britain since 1801, with the exception of 1941, when the census was prevented by the Second World War.

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