Census 2021

Census 2021 logo

Census Day was Sunday 21 March 2021. The online questionnaire is closed but if you haven't yet completed your census, you can still request a paper copy which will be posted to you.

The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information we have about our society.

By taking part, you will help inform decisions about the services you and your community need, like doctors’ surgeries and new schools.

Taking part in the census is a legal requirement. You could face a fine of up to £1,000 if you don't participate or provide false information.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Any information you share in the census is protected by law and the census only ever publishes anonymous information. Your household cannot be identified.

How to get help with the census

Support is available for anyone who needs help with the census.

A freephone contact centre is available with trained staff who can help you complete your questionnaire over the phone, provide information and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including large print, or send a paper copy of the census. You can reach the contact centre at 0800 141 2021 (callers with hearing difficulties can use the NGT text relay profile 18001 before dialling).

Census Quality Survey

The Census Quality Survey is happening now. It's a voluntary telephone survey that happens after the census collection operation ends.

Taking part in this survey is just as important as completing the census. The results of the Census Quality Survey help the ONS work out the accuracy of the information collected in the census and will help to improve statistics.

A selected number of households in England and Wales will be invited to take part by answering most of the same questions from the census questionnaire. This will be done over the telephone by trained interviewers.

Chosen households will receive a letter inviting them to respond. You can find out more about the Census Quality Survey online. 

Visits from Census Officers

If you haven't yet completed your census, you may receive a visit from officers in the Census Non-Compliance Team. They encourage you to fill in your form and help you access any support you need to complete your census.

Stay safe from bogus Census Officers by being aware that genuine Census Officers will:

  • Carry official identification cards with a photograph and the officer's name
  • Visit between 9am and 8pm from Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays
  • Never ask for any money or bank details
  • Work in a socially distanced way, wear PPE and will not enter anyone's home
  • Never issue a fine on the doorstep, by text message, phone call or email

If you suspect that a person at your door is not a genuine Census Officer, close the door. If you feel unsafe, call the police.

Further information

For more information, including translations, please visit the Census 2021 website.