Households across Hull will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.
The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.
Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales.
The data collected from the census also informs where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.
Information is also important in helping lots of other people and organisations do their work.
Charities and voluntary organisations often use it as evidence to apply for and receive funding. It helps businesses to understand their customers and, for example, decide where to open new shops. Plus, those doing research, like university students and people looking into their family history, use census data.
Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said: “A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed.
“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council said: “The census provides us with a unique snapshot of our communities and benefits us all.
“In Hull we receive a lot of funding from different sources for various projects, from the City of Culture and Hull’s Maritime Project, to the refurbishment of East Park splash boat and Pearson Park. The census is also used to work out how much the council, health and the police will be awarded to provide essential local services.
“We use the census to understand our local population, and plan services in the coming years. Without the accurate data from the census, Hull could miss out on so many opportunities the people of this city deserve.
“We estimate that cities can lose £500,000 each year for every 1,000 people who don’t fill it the survey so I would urge all of our households to complete it.
“Everyone can complete online or paper forms are available for those who need them.”
Census day is Sunday 21 March, however households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.
The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
For more information, visit census.gov.uk.