Households across Epping Forest District will be asked to take part in Census 2021 this spring.
Plan and fund public services
The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census information informs where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health, cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.
Helping charities to secure funding
Information from the census is also important in helping lots of other people and organisations do their work.
Charities and voluntary organisations often use it as evidence to get funding. It helps businesses understand their customers and, for example, decide where to open new shops. Plus, those doing research, like university students and people looking into their family history, use census data. It provides important information on population diversity, allowing organisations to know whether they are meeting their responsibilities and triggering action where necessary.
First online Census
Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.
Accessible to all
For those who may not have home broadband, or digital devices, or may struggle with the task of completing the form, online – there are local digital support drop-in surgeries or dedicated local telephone support lines, on given times and dates.
Cllr Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said:
The census provides a unique snapshot of our district. The information ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs and dentists’ services.
This year will be the first online Census, making it easier for most of us to complete, but paper forms and drop-in centres will also be available for those who need them.
How do you take part?
Census day is 21 March but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part. The census will include questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be 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 within 12 months and personal records will be locked away for 100 years, keeping them safe for future generations.
For more information and advice on how to answer the questions:
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