Response to Census 2021 exceeds expectations as deadline approaches

THE response to Census 2021 has exceeded all expectations, with 97 per cent of households across England and Wales making sure they count.

For those who haven’t yet completed the simple online form, the deadline is May 17. After that date, only paper questionnaires will be available.

If you have lost your letter with your online completion code or have a second address you have not visited, go to to request another code.

If people refuse to take part, they could be taken to court and issued with a £1,000 fine and criminal record. The census non-compliance operation will begin on May 25.

“We’ve had an amazing response to Census 2021. Our information shows 97 per cent of households have responded so far – exceeding our pre-census target of 94 per cent,” the ONS’s Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell said.

“Those who have taken part have done so to ensure they are represented for their local area.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has filled out their form so far as well as all the community groups, organisations and local authorities who have helped us make this census a success.”

Extensive community engagement is continuing to make sure all groups of the population are represented in the census.

Students, for example, need to make sure they have completed a questionnaire for their term-time address to help get the services they need in their university town now and in the future. Students should complete a form even if they were included on their family form at home.

People with second addresses also need to fill out a short form for their properties whether it is a caravan, holiday home or commuter flat.

Local census support centres have now closed, but help and paper questionnaires are still available through the census contact centre on freephone 0800 141 2021.

Now the main field operation has ended, around 350,000 households across England and Wales will be invited to take part in the Census Coverage Survey (CCS).

This short, separate, interviewer-led survey will enable the ONS to get a final view of the response rates.

Mr Bell continued: “This is an important part of making sure the census produces the most accurate population statistics.

“It asks similar questions to the main census, just fewer of them, at addresses in a selection of postcodes across England and Wales.

“An interviewer will carry out the survey on your doorstep and it will only take around 15 minutes.

“The CCS is a voluntary survey but by taking part you will improve the quality of the information the census gathers. This helps to plan and fund services in your community.”

For more information on the CCS visit Census Coverage Survey – Census 2021.

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