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About the census : Overview

What is the census?

The census happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Your answers to census questions help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare.

Census Day was on Sunday 21 March 2021.

Census 2021 results

We published the first census results for England and Wales on Tuesday 28 June 2022.

We've worked hard to process the answers from all the census questionnaires, including the Census Coverage Survey and the Census Quality Survey. We also ran an outputs consultation that helps make sure the Census 2021 statistics meet the needs of those who use them.

This video looks at how we collected census information and the first results that we published in June.

Transcript of "The making of Census 2021, from collection to results" video.

Watch an archived version of the "The making of Census 2021 | From collection to results" video (opens in a new tab) 

The census in Northern Ireland and Scotland

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales.

If you live in Northern Ireland, visit the Northern Ireland Statistics Agency (NISRA) census website (opens in a new tab)  to find out about the census for Northern Ireland.

If you live in Scotland, visit the National Records of Scotland census website (opens in a new tab)  to find out how to take part in the census for Scotland.

The previous census

The previous census took place in 2011. Many people and organisations used information from the 2011 Census in a variety of ways.

For example, Bristol City Council used it to inform decisions on how to fund local housing improvements. It was also essential for the charity Redbridge Council for Voluntary Services to help people from ethnic minority groups learn more about dementia.

To read more about the benefits that information from the 2011 Census helped to create, visit the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website (opens in a new tab) .