This Sunday we get to take part in a once-in-a-decade event: the Census. Dating back to 1801, the Census gives the most detailed information we have about our society. It collects information on people’s education, religion, ethnicity, working life and health. This helps to inform a range of local decisions including planning, school places and health services that would otherwise be more difficult to access. It also provides vital information for future decisions made by Parliament. The Census must be completed by law or people could be fined up to £1,000.
Census 2021 will ask questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are, what we do and how we live. Last time we found out that there are 47,040 households in Banbury, 2339 families with three or more dependents and 249 ethnic groups in the area. The information requested in 2021 will be largely the same as in 2011 which helps with comparisons between censuses. There will be some new questions on our Armed Forces veterans to help give better support to those who have served our country with such distinction.
For the first time, Census 2021 will be conducted online. Hopefully you will have received a leaflet through the door recently with an access code which you can use to log into the website. The questionnaire can be completed on smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops and desktop computers. For those who need a little extra help, language assistance and paper forms are available for those who need them. An online help area is available at www.census.gov.uk . There is also a dedicated free contact centre offering help via 0800 141 2021. Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.