97% of households respond to 2021 Census

The response to Census 2021 has exceeded all expectations, with 97 per cent of households across England and Wales 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.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “Thank you to those who have completed their questionnaire. The census provides an important insight into our community and it is great to see that so many Sefton residents have taken part. This will ensure going forward we understand the needs of our community.”

“It is important that those who are eligible, and haven’t already completed a questionnaire do so, or they could face a £1,000 fine if they do not complete an online form by the 17th May.”

Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell, from The Office for National Statistics said: “We’ve had an amazing response to Census 2021. Those who have taken part have done so to ensure they are represented for their local area.”

“ 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.”

Although Census Day – Sunday 21 March 2021 – has been and gone it is not too late to complete the online questionnaire. It only takes around 10 minutes per person. Time is running out as this online option will close on 17 May. After this only paper questionnaires will be available. If you have lost the letter or have a second address you have not visited, go to http://www.census.gov.uk to request an online completion code for your address via SMS text message.

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.

If people refuse to take part, they could be taken to court and issued with a £1,000 fine and criminal record. The census non-compliance operation will begin on Tuesday 25th May.

Now the main census field operation has ended, around 350,000 households across England and Wales are being 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.

Since Tuesday 4th May, a sample of households have been receiving 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 on the 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.

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