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Still time to take part in the Census

Census 2021 is now entering its final phase.

For households who have not yet completed their census form it’s not too late. If you would like some help to complete your Census form, you can access the following services:

  • Census Helpline: 0800 141 2021 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm Sat) – for telephone completion, access codes, paper questionnaires (including large print), accessible options including braille, general queries etc
  • Text Relay Service: (18001) 0800 141 2021
  • Census Language Helpline: 0800 587 2021 – support for non-English speakers
  • Census Support Centres: Local centres can help you to complete your questionnaire, find your nearest one by calling 0800 141 2021 or visit (CSC’s are open until 4 May)


Field Officer visits

Census field officers are now visiting properties who have not yet completed a census questionnaire, their role is to signpost to support services:

  • Census officers will always carry an ID card with their photograph and name
  • Census officers work through the day to make contact with residents but will not call before 09:00 or after 20:00
  • Census officers never ask for money or bank details
  • Census officers never need to enter someone’s home

Action Fraud have produced a useful Q and A guide to help keep the public safe from census related scams.  Action Fraud article


Community videos

Peterborough City Council have kindly supported the production of videos for non-English speaking communities and they can be viewed here

BSL videos can be viewed here


Data and security

A new animated video is now available on the census campaign website.. The video explains how Census 2021 will keep your data secure.

If you’d like to take a look, you can find the video on the census YouTube channel –


Frequently asked questions

I have completed my census form online but a field officer visited me, why?

It may be that you completed the census form but hadn’t clicked the ‘submit’ button.  If you have received a confirmation email to say that your form has been submitted please show the field officer so that they can make sure no further visits are scheduled.


I am out of the country temporarily / know someone who is away – should I/they still complete? 

If the person will be away for up to a year then they should still take part, including students.  If however they are not due to return for more than a year then they don’t need to complete.  If they can access the Census website while they are away they can complete online, alternatively they can ask a trusted person (e.g. a family member or friend) to complete on their behalf.


I own a property that was empty on 21 March, does that need to be counted?

Yes, it’s really important that we have a census return for all houses, for example holiday homes and caravans – because it’s a census of housing as well as a census of population.  Local councils need to know about all houses in their area so they can plan services and work out how many new houses need to be built.  Visit to request an access code if you own an empty house, flat or caravan.


I’m not a British citizen, should I be counted?

Yes. Everyone who was staying in England and Wales on Census Day, March 21, has to be counted.


Do you share my data?

No, personal census data is kept under lock and key for 100 years. No individual or their responses can be identified in the statistics we publish. In fact, your personal information can’t be seen by anyone who makes decisions about you. It cannot be used by government to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes, or by landlords or any other private organisation.


Why should I complete the census – it doesn’t help me?

The census benefits us all by underpinning all the services every single one of us relies on. It provides information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and the information from it will help inform policy at a local and national level for years to come.  From school places to the planning of bike lanes – census information is even used when deciding where to build new supermarkets, what food to put on the shelves and how many parent and toddler spaces to put in the car park.


I live in England for part of the year, and also spend time overseas.  While I was overseas I took part in a census there, should I also complete the England & Wales census? 

Yes, by counting you in the census here it helps to build a picture of the local population – even if you don’t spend all of your time here.


Will I be fined if I don’t take part in the census?

Because the information that the census gathers is so important, there is a legal requirement to take part.  You can avoid a fine by taking part in the census yourself or by asking someone to help you.  Fines are issued by the courts, not by Census Field Officers – never pay any money to someone claiming to be a field officer, it will be a scam.



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