Online census

It’s almost national census time and this time around it’s going to be a bit different.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives 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, and is run by the Office for National Statistics.

This year is the first census 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.

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at 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.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

Councillor Dine Romero, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “The census is of vital importance in helping to build up a picture of Bath and North East Somerset and collects some fascinating data about the way we live and work. It informs us how best to shape council services for our residents, so please do fill in the census questionnaire for your household once you receive a letter containing your online code in March.”

The census will include questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. 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.

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