97 per cent of households across England and Wales have completed their census survey, making sure they count when it comes to local services like school places, GP surgeries and hospital beds.
This is above the pre-census target of 94 per cent, while all local authorities have seen over 90 per cent of households respond, exceeding an 80 per cent target.
For those who haven’t yet completed the simple online form, time is running out. The online questionnaire will close on 17 May and after that, only paper questionnaires will be available.
Anyone that may have lost the letter or have a second address, including caravan or holiday home, they have not visited are asked to go to www.census.gov.uk to request an online completion code for your address via SMS text message.
Anyone that refuses to take part could be taken to court and issued with a £1,000 fine and criminal record. The census non-compliance operation will begin on Tuesday 25 May.
Extensive community engagement is continuing to make sure all groups of the population are represented in the census. Students, for example, need to make sure they have completed a questionnaire for their term-time address to help get the services they need in their university town now and in the future. Students should complete a form even if they were included on their family form at home.
Now the main field operation has ended, as in 2011, around 350,000 households across England and Wales will be invited to take part in the Census Coverage Survey (CCS). This short, separate, interviewer-led survey will enable the ONS to get a final view of the response rates.
ONS’s Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell said: “We’ve had an amazing response to Census 2021.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has filled out their form so far as well as all the community groups, organisations and local authorities who have helped us make this census a success.
“We’re in a great place as we begin our Census Coverage Survey. An interviewer will carry out the survey on your doorstep and it will only take around 15 minutes.
“The CCS is a voluntary survey, but by taking part, you will improve the quality of the information the census gathers. This, in turn, helps to plan and fund local services in your community.”
From May 4, a sample of households will have started to receive a card through the post asking them to take part in the CCS. After that, an interviewer, following the government’s COVID-19 guidelines, will visit the address and fill in the questionnaire with you on your doorstep. The interviewer will be able to show an ID badge on a Census 2021 branded lanyard.
For more information on the CCS visit Census Coverage Survey – Census 2021.
Local census support centres have now closed, but help and paper questionnaires are still available through the census contact centre on freephone 0800 141 2021 in England and 0800 169 2021 in Wales.