The 2021 census is coming

The census is a unique survey that takes place every 10 years across England and Wales, giving a detailed snapshot of all people and households from all walks of life, and 2021 is a census year.

The details you give by taking part in the census can help inform decisions on services that shape our communities, such as healthcare, education and transport. Without this information, it would be more difficult to understand our communities' needs and to plan and fund public services. The 2021 census is particularly important as it will provide fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and job centres, so please encourage participation in your organisations.

In one way or another, census information touches the life of every person living in England and Wales, whether to plan new doctors’ surgeries or bike lanes. And please note, government officials dealing with applications individuals might have made, or payments or services they receive, can't see the information they provide - the Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census and is independent from government. An individuals details are protected by law and the information published is always anonymous.  

Census Day 2021 is on Sunday, March 21st, and Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means people will be encouraged to respond online if they can, on any device, including mobile phone or tablet. Households will soon begin to receive their Census 2021 access code in the post and you can use it to fill in the questionnaire as soon as this arrives.

If you, or anyone you know needs help to complete the census, there’s a wide range of support available. This includes over the phone assistance and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print.

If you need help or have any questions on the 2021 census, visit