In this post, we’re sharing information about the 2021 UK Census. People who are already vulnerable, like those with insecure immigration status, may be less likely to complete the census. But this means that not only are those people at risk of being fined – they’re at risk of being invisible.

Things to know:

  • The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. This year Census Day is Sunday 21st of March (meaning you should complete it on that day or as soon as possible after).
  • You can fill in the census form online or on paper. You’ll receive a letter with information on how to complete it including an access code.
  • Information on completing the census in a wide range of languages is available here.
  • You must complete the census by law – you can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t, or if you give false information.
  • You can still complete the census if you are homeless. Find more information about this here.
  • Personal information on the census cannot be used by the government. This means that, for example, no one with influence over your immigration status or access to benefits can see your information.
  • For more detailed information you can look at this website. There is also a free language helpline on 0800 587 2021 where you can order a paper copy.

Why the census is important:

  • Local authorities and charities use the information from the census to plan and fund services. This means that if you’re not on the census, you won’t be taken into account in the planning of what your community needs.
  • Public services including transport, education and healthcare will need to use census data to improve.
  • Charities such as the Mental Health Foundation also need the census. The Mental Health Foundation uses data from the census to identify people who are at risk of mental ill health and provide the support they need.

To make sure as many people complete the census and have their voices heard, the Office For National Statistics has put together lots of materials such as this poster. You can find more on their downloadable resources page.

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