Census is coming

The census is happening. The census survey takes place once every 10 years and it helps build the most complete picture of England and Wales. Population statistics are vital to our country and Kirklees.

For local authorities, census population estimates underpin both planning and provision of public services. Getting the best possible response rates for the census will make sure that decisions are based on accurate, high-quality data.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have made some changes to reflect how society has changed over the last 10 years, adding new questions, and taking a “digital-first” approach. This means people can complete their census where and when they want to, online. Paper questionnaires are still available for people who need them.

The census is focused on understanding the needs of local authorities. Developing effective partnerships with your authority is how the council will make sure your community’s needs are understood.

In 2021, ONS want the overall return rate to be as high as it was in the 2011 census, where they had a response rate of 94% with at least 80% in all local authority areas. This response rate would ensure comparability between local authority areas. They’re also aiming to get a 75% online response rate so that they can release census results more quickly, allowing people to benefit from the census information sooner.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Corporate, said:

“The census survey is a fantastic way to find out how our local communities are made up. We need every household in Kirklees to get involved to make sure the census is a success and gives us the level of information we need to help us plan for our future.”

More information 

For more information on the census please use the links below, alternatively take a look at our Q&A’s.

Your Questions Answered leaflet

Community Handbook

Census Q & A

What is the census?

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that collects information and gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are and how we live. There’s no other survey that gives as much information about our society and future needs.

When is it happening?

Census day is March 21. However, households will receive a letter in the post in early March, giving them details of how to take part in the mandatory survey. They will also receive a unique access code, inviting them to complete the survey online, although paper questionnaires are available on request.

Why should I take part?

The census helps us understand what our society needs now and what it will likely need in the future. The information it collects helps with decisions on the planning and funding of services in your area. This could include schools, doctors’ surgeries, emergency services or even local support groups.

Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.

How long will it take?

The census will take around 10 minutes per person to complete. It’s easy to do and can be done on any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

What if I don’t speak English or Welsh?

Translation booklets are available to download. If your language is not represented, please contact the customer contact centre on 0800 141 2021.

How can I get help to complete my questionnaire?

The help pages at Census 2021 explain how you can get help. These include general guidance, language assistance and a wide range of accessible formats including video and audio guides (English and Welsh). You can also phone the contact centre on 0800 141 2021 or visit one of our support centres offering assistance.

What happens if I don’t complete my questionnaire?

It is important that everyone in Kirklees takes part in the Census. You could face prosecution, a hefty fine (up to £1000) and a criminal record.

Please visit the Census 2021 website for more information, and any questions you have, about the census.