All households in the BCP area will soon be asked to take part in the 2021 census. BCP Council is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which runs Census 2021, to ensure a successful return.
Census 2021 will include questions about individuals’ sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Graham Farrant, Chief Executive of BCP Council said: “I encourage all BCP residents to complete the census taking place on 21 March 2021. The results of the census are really important for planning council services into the future because they shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, ensuring the big decisions facing our council and the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible. Without the census, it would be much more difficult to provide the services our communities need. Completing the census will also help us receive our share of public funding, as the data helps to determine the money we need for things like school places and development of housing, as well as transport and health.”
Jo Keating, ONS’ Census Engagement Manager for the BCP area stated “It’s vitally important to gather accurate data to enable the services we all use on a daily basis to be structured according to our needs. With the year we’ve all had dealing with COVID-19, the census will provide important insights into the impact of the pandemic on our society. Whilst the pandemic makes it more challenging, at the ONS we are confident we can safely deliver a strong census and maximise participation".
In March, households will begin receiving letters explaining how to complete the census online. Paper questionnaires can be requested for those who prefer to complete the census that way.
Those needing help will be able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS’ free phone contact centre.
After Census Day on 21 March, door knocking will begin at those properties for which the census hasn’t been completed. These staff won’t need to enter people’s houses and will take all required infection control measures.
Results will be available in 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit census.gov.uk.