The census is here!

Thursday, 18 March, 2021

Your census letter will be arriving any day now. This letter will ask you to take part in Census 2021, a unique event that only takes place once every decade. 

If you don’t receive your letter very soon please get in touch with the census contact centre on 0800 141 2021 or visit 

Why you should take part

Information gathered from the survey gives the most accurate snapshot at one time of all the people and households in England and Wales. The census helps to understand what our society needs now and is likely to need in the future. 

This is important as information collected by the census helps to plan and fund important services such as healthcare, education, transport and the emergency services. 

Charities use census information to help access funding and to deliver their services. Businesses use census information to help them decide where to set up and this creates local job opportunities.

How to take part

Census Day is Sunday 21 March but you can take part as soon as you receive your letter. The letter contains a 16 character access code which is unique to your household. Please don't share the code with anyone else. 

Just go onto the census website at and enter the access code. It takes a few minutes to complete the questions and you can do it on any device, including a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. 

If you prefer to use a paper format just call the contact centre or visit to arrange for one to be sent in the post. 

How to get help

There is lots of help available to complete the census. If English is not your first language you can download translation booklets from the census website or call the contact centre.

People with visual and hearing impairments can obtain braille, large print materials and audio guides and accessible videos using British Sign Language (BSL) to help them complete the census. Plus, the electronic questionnaire is compatible with most assistive technologies used by people with disabilities.

The website also provides advice on how to answer each of the questions.  If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer separately.  

For more help and advice call the main census contact centre on 0800 141 2021, visit or find your nearest census support centre

Your data and security

All the personal information that you provide is protected by law and you cannot be identified in the statistics that will be published later. Personal information is defined as any information that could allow you to be identified, such as your name, address or date of birth.

The personal information you give is not shared with any government department so you don’t need to worry about government officials dealing with applications you’ve made or payments or services you receive seeing the information you provide on the census.  

What happens if you don't take part

If you do not submit the census questionnaire you will receive a reminder letter. You may also receive telephone calls and be offered support to complete the questionnaire.  We are all required by law to complete the census.

For help with competing the census please call 0800 141 2021 or visit the website.