The Census is a survey that takes place every 10 years. In England and Wales, it is being carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Northern Ireland will hold their Census around the same time. Scotland will have their Census in 2022.

This year, because of Covid-19, the Census in England and Wales will be ‘online first’. This means you have the option to complete your Census form online.

What is the Census for?

The Census asks you questions about your home, your local area and your life. This is to get data about all the different groups of people in society.

The government and other important people use this information to help them make decisions about things like roads, schools and healthcare.

Your personal information is kept safe and will not be published in any reports.

You can find out more about how your data will be used and stored on the Census 2021 website.

What do I need to do?

It is the law that you must complete your Census form.

Census 2021 have lots of resources and accessibility options to help you with this.

You can also ask your support worker, a family member or friend to help you complete the form.

Visit the Census 2021 website for more information about helping someone to complete their Census form.

(Important: don’t take a picture of your code and post it on social media or share your code with anyone you don’t trust.)

What happens next?

You will receive a letter in the post. The Census don’t know who lives at your address so your letter will not be addressed to you, just ‘Dear Householder’.

This letter will have your code on it, so you can log in to the Census website. You should complete your Census form by Sunday 21st March or as soon as possible after.  

You can also request a paper copy of the Census form if you would prefer to complete it this way.

In some areas where less people have Internet access, Census will be sending a paper copy of the form in the post.

What if I live with other people?

If you live in a shared house with other people but you share spaces like the kitchen, you will need to answer questions about your house together and then each person will need to complete their own forms.

If you live in a Supported Living service, the staff will complete the questions about the house and you will just need to answer the questions about you.

What if I am not at my usual address?

If you’re staying with someone else before or on Sunday 21st March, you can use the code for their household to complete your census form.

If you do not have a fixed address, check the Types of accommodation page on the Census website for more information.

What if I haven’t received a letter or I lose my letter?

If you haven’t received a code in the post or you lose the letter, you can request a new code here.

Where can I find Census information in other languages?

Visit the Languages page on the Census 2021 website to find information about translation support.

  • If you are a Service Manager or another member of United Response staff, you can find out more about completing your Census forms on our staff intranet.