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Remember to fill in your census this Easter | Sandwell Council

Remember to fill in your census this Easter

Published 1st April 2021

There has been a great response to Census 2021.

Millions of households across England and Wales have already made sure they count when it comes to planning and provision of the key services we all rely upon, like GP surgeries, school places and hospital beds, by filling out their online census form.

However, it is vital everyone who hasn’t yet responded does so as soon as possible now Census Day, March 21, has been and gone. Field officers are already out and about and will visit households who have not submitted their census this Easter weekend. The operation will reach its peak next week so more officers will be knocking at doors where our records show there has been no response. The role of field officers is to give help and encouragement to those who have not yet filled in their census questionnaire online or on paper after Census Day and direct them to the support services they need.

Field staff will never need to enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, be equipped with PPE and work in line with all government guidance. They will be operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They also carry ID to show they are genuinely working on the census.

“Census 2021 has gone brilliantly so far,” Office for National Statistics director of operations Pete Benton said. “The overwhelming majority of people across England and Wales have already taken part and we’ve heard some great stories: from those completing their 10th census to those completing their first. But, for us to have the most accurate picture of the whole population, we need everyone to fill in their questionnaire. By doing so you will be helping shape the local services in your community – the bus routes, school places, the hospital beds. You can do it easily online, but for those who want help, we have a range of census support centres open across England and Wales, and paper forms are available for those who need them. Everyone is required by law to respond to the census and if you do so now you won’t be fined.”

The census questionnaire is simple, straightforward, and safe to complete online. It only takes 10 minutes per person in a household.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. 

Do you have to take part?
You must complete the census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000.

When should you fill in your census questionnaire?
Census day is Sunday 21 March 2021, but you can fill yours in as soon as you get your access code in the post. Your answers should be about the people who usually live in your household on this date, even if you're filling it in before then.

Will the government use the information you have shared to identify you?
No. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) carries out the census in England and Wales. The Census team will only ever publish anonymous information from the census. In fact, it's a crime to share personal census information and any information you provide is protected.

What if you cannot fill in your census questionnaire online?
Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If not, there is a wide range of support services available. 

Services include:

  • guidance and support in many languages and formats
  • help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media
  • a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer
  • accessible census guidance, for example, in braille

If you need help filling in your census, call 0800 141 2021. 

For more information visit the Census 2021 website.

Be scam aware

  • At no point will you be asked for your bank details or any payment
  • Help to fill out your form is free
  • You will not receive any payment for completing the census, so any offers of money in exchange for your account details will be fraudulent
  • No one will enter your home in relation to the census

If you or someone you know has been a targeted by a scam you should report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040. For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit the Citizens Advice website.