UK Households Asked to Share Personal Data in 2021 Census

UK Households Asked to Share Personal Data in 2021 Census

A once-a-decade census will be carried out on Sunday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The 2021 census will help us understand how coronavirus has affected everything from our health to our finances, England and Wales’ organiser the Office for National Statistics says.

A census is a count of all people and households in an area. On one day every 10 years, households are asked to fill in a questionnaire about every person living at the property. The first UK census was in 1801.

The census often takes place in March or April. Census day this year will be on Sunday 21 March for households in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, census will be held in March 2022.

On Sunday 21 March or as soon as possible afterwards, every householder in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to answer the questions for everyone living there. You will need to share your and your household members’ personal data, including their age, marital status, race, national identity and ethnic group, nationality, health, sexual orientation and gender identity, language and religion, occupation and qualifications. If you need help with answering the census questions, please read a full guidance here.

This year, people are being asked to fill the census out online using an access code sent in the post. They can also request a paper version online, or over the phone.

By law, everyone must complete or be accounted for in the census. One can be fined up to £1,000 if they do not fill it in, or give false information.

People staying in the UK for under three months do not have to fill out a census, but everyone else should be covered by one – including students and those who have gone abroad for under a year.

In late March and early April, census field officers may visit those households that haven’t submitted a form. They will encourage the household members to complete it and provide further help if needed.

The information gathered in the census will be anonymised for service providers to use the submitted data. The full census will not be made available to the public for 100 years, BBC informs.

Lots of people are keen to read the 1921 census to learn more about their family history, but that won’t be published until early 2022, according to the National Archives.

Image by goodluz / Adobe Stock

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