Census 2021: Latest news and information

The legislation to hold the Census in England and Wales on 21 March 2021 is now in place.

The Census (England and Wales) Order, which sets the date of the Census, became law at the May Privy Council meeting on 20 May 2020, following debates and votes in both Houses of Parliament.

Read the Census (England and Wales) Order 2020.

The Census Regulations came into force on 23 June 2020 in England and 26 June 2020 in Wales. The Regulations include many of the operational details of the Census, as well as exact copies of the paper questionnaires and descriptions of the online questionnaires. They are available to view online:

The Census in Scotland and Northern Ireland is the responsibility of their respective administrations and legislatures.

The Census (Scotland) Order 2020 and the Census Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 are also now in force, meaning that Census day is set as 21 March 2021 across the UK.

It is important you take part in the Census

The information collected in the Census helps to decide where to spend public money and plan services. The Census also helps the government and local authorities understand what our society needs now and what it is likely to need in the future. This could include schools, doctors’ surgeries, emergency services, or even local support groups.

Find out why you should take part in the Census, on the Census 2021 website.

Census day

Census day was Sunday 21 March, but it's not too late to take part.

To start your census online, you will need your 16-character access code.

Read the census is here on the Census 2021 website.

If you don't have an access code

Request a new access code on Census 2021 website, to start a new census if you have lost or not received an access code.

If you want to fill out a paper census

Request a paper census questionnaire on the Census 2021 website to be sent in the post.

Reminder letters and field staff

Second reminder letters have been sent out this week and more census field officers have started work.  They are out in force following up with households who have not yet completed their census.

As a reminder, census field officers will:

  • carry an ID card with their photograph and name
  • work through the day to make contact with residents but will not call before 9am or after 8pm
  • never ask for money or bank details
  • never need to enter your home.

Census scams - please get in touch

We are being made aware that there are a number of scams surrounding the Census.  These are being reported to the Census and are being dealt with as a priority.

If you come across any scams, please ensure they are reported to 2021Census.LA.Liaisons@ons.gov.uk so that they can take the appropriate action

Legislation and policy

Read 'legislation and policy' on the ONS website to find out about the Census White Paper: Help shape our future: The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales.

Quality of the 2021 Census data

Read 'approach and processes for assuring the quality of the 2021 Census data' on the ONS website, to find out the ONS's initial proposal for how we will check the Census 2021 processes and results to make sure users can rely on them.

Further information

Go to the Census 2021 website for further information and contact details.