Local Authority important Census 2021 update

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Census 2021

Local Authority Interim census update

20 January 2021

This bulletin contains recent Census 2021 updates that we want to share before the next Newsletter due on the 29th January

  • Census 2021 Programme progress
  • Update on addressing process
  • Products available on website, new ones as well as those previously available
  • Recruitment –  LAs can help with our recruitment of census officers

Census 2021 Programme update

>> Census 2021 is going ahead on March 21st 2021<<

We have received a few questions asking whether we are you going ahead with the census given the latest COVID-19 situation and lockdown. The answer is, yes, Census 2021 is going ahead in England and Wales on 21 March 2021.

  • Census 2021 will highlight areas of deprivation, it will show the ethnic make-up of the country, it will provide information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and the data from it will help inform policy at a local and national level for years to come.It will also provide us with important insights into the impact of the pandemic on our society.
  • We have planned and built a flexible operation which can adapt to the changing circumstances of the pandemic. We have continued to review and adapt our plans to ensure our staff and the public can be kept safe, and everyone can be safely counted.
  • We are currently ensuring that the right plans and resources are in place to deliver a successful census safely and securely.
  • We are committed to ensuring that everyone is kept safe as they take part in the Census. This will be a digital-first census and we will be encouraging people to respond online if they can.
  • We have designed Census 2021 to be simple, straightforward and safe to complete. The census field operation, which follows up with people who need help to complete their questionnaires, will be carried out without anyone ever needing to enter a house. All contacts with the public will be socially distanced and our field staff will be equipped with PPE in line with government guidance.

Addressing update

  • The addresses for the Census enumeration are being taken from GeoPlace’s AddressBase product. Local authorities input into this directly through their Local Land and Property Gazatteer so don’t need to do any different work for the Census.
  • The list of addresses for the main print run of invitation letters has already been taken.
  • We are working with GeoPlace to receive an additional set of address changes following on from the extract taken based on epoch 80 which will receive an invitation letter
  • We know we won’t be able to print letters in time for postal delivery but are planning field staff to deliver them
  • We are working with GeoPlace to agree a date for the final extract, and we’ll let you know. Please keep on providing them with updates then we will be sure to include your address changes
  • We are very much focussed on new addresses as part of this additional data supply from GeoPlace. Where addresses no longer exist they will be returned as undeliverable. Where an address has changed use; (for example a communal establishment (CE) to a household), processes are in place as part of the census to change this e.g. when a CE officer visits
  • Working with GeoPlace means we are keen for Local Authorities to continue to update the their LLPG. This is preferable to local authorities providing ONS with address information directly and there being inconsistencies with data formatting

Product Update

The census website now includes a wide range of new promotional resources. These are designed to help local authorities and community groups spread the word about Census 2021 and encourage everyone to take part.

Resources are available in up to 20 languages. They include posters, postcards, leaflets, brochures, presentations and social media content that you can download to print or share digitally.

More resources will follow nearer Census Day.

Link here to all the downloadable resources


We continue to recruit census roles around the country and appreciate all help local authorities have supplied . 

For other local authorities who wish to publish these jobs here is a link to the census recruitment page.

Office for National Statistics