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Census 2021

Every 10 years the government undertakes a census, which includes a wide range of information on population, health, ethnicity, lone parents, households, and the economic status of residents.


Census Day 2021 was Sunday 21 March 2021

The Census 2021 was on Sunday 21 March 2021. The 2021 census was to be conducted mainly online, with households required to fill in the census questionnaire electronically, although paper copies and support were made available on request.

There was plenty of help available, with people also able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the Office for National Statistics' free phone contact centre. The ONS also provided in-person support to complete the census online through Census support centres.

The main census field operation began after Census day, contacting those who have not responded. 

Census 2021 included questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there was 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 in 2022, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information and advice, visit Census 2021.

What is the Census?

The census is unique in providing one source of comparable statistics about the population of England and Wales down to local levels.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, except for 1941.

By filling in your census, you'll help make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future for things such as transport, education and healthcare.

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the 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.”

Take part to help shape your community

Taking part in the census will ensure Derbyshire receives its share of public funding. Without the census, it would be much more difficult to provide the services Derbyshire needs.

How to take part

The census is easy to do and can be done on any device. You'll receive a letter in the post with an access code from the Office for National Statistics. Simply go online and enter the code into the secure website to get started.

Do I 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 I fill in my census questionnaire?

You can fill in your questionnaire 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 the census date – even if you're filling it in before then.

What if I can't fill in my census questionnaire online?

We know there are some people who will find this challenging. That's why the census team are there to help with a wide range of support services to make it easy for you, whatever your needs.

Services include:

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

Job opportunities

Job opportunities are available to help carry out and support the census process in Derbyshire. Find information about how to apply for census jobs and the application process.