2021 is the year the next national census will be conducted. This is nothing new – there was famously one in Judaea at the time of the change from BC to AD! A census is the means by which the government and its many agencies gain knowledge of the number of people living at the time, with lots of information about their family, ages, occupations and relationships, amongst other things.
The census enables a modern government to understand better the needs of the population in terms of services required. Unlike the situation 2000 years ago, we do not need to go to our “birthplace” to register, we can do it from the comfort of our own homes. Those of us with access to t’internet, and the ability to use it, will be able to complete the required information on-line. For others, paper forms will be supplied, and there will be local volunteers on hand to provide help for any who need it. When you receive your first communication about the census, there will be the opportunity to request a “paper” return, and assistance in completing the forms, should you require it.
The detailed information of each household remains “locked away” for 100 years, but the analysis of certain provided information is made available to all levels of government, charities, quangos etc, so that they can best plan and deliver the support services they provide, particularly in assessing the future education, public health, transport and housing requirements, to name but a few.
The official date of the census is Sunday, 21st March, 2021, which means the information requested relates to where you were, who you were living with and your relationship to them, your occupation and other matters on that day – not where you would normally live. In the current movement restriction environment, this might actually give a more accurate picture of “normality”.
The support volunteers will contact those households who have not returned the forms to ascertain if more assistance is required to complete them. 10 years ago the overall response rate was 94%. There are no sanctions against any person or household that refuses to submit the information. Obviously the higher the rate, the more accurate will be the data used by the government and other agencies, to determine the services required to support us all.
We hope that all residents will play their part in this exercise, As mentioned earlier, support will be available for anyone having any difficulties in completing the census.