Change Text Size:

The Census 2021 – What you Need to Know

The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your local community in Peterborough, including healthcare, education and transport.


What is it?

The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales and will give us the most detailed information we have about our society.

It’s a legal requirement that you fill in your census questionnaire, although some questions are voluntary, so you are not legally obliged to answer those. For example for the first time ever there are questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. The voluntary questions will only be asked to those aged 16 and older.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.

If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer separately.


Why is it important?

In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, doctors’ surgeries or bike lanes. By filling it in, you will help shape services needed in the community and will help Peterborough to plan for and to fund these public services.

Not only that, the voluntary questions around sexual orientation, for example, will give more accurate information on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. This will help organisations combat any inequalities these groups face and show where services are needed.


When is it?

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know at

Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s a wide range of support services available.

If you need help or have any questions, visit


Print Friendly, PDF & Email