About the census : The census during the coronavirus pandemic

The importance of the census in 2021

The census gives us information about households across England and Wales.

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we’ve used past census information to help us understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people in different ways.

Census 2021 will give us fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure that the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and job centres.

Census Day was Sunday 21 March 2021.

Keeping the public and census staff safe

At the ONS, our main concern is the safety of the public and our staff. We want everyone to be safely counted during the census. To do this, we’re making sure that our plans are always in line with the latest government safety guidelines.

Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that we're encouraging people to respond online if they can. You can complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet.

If you need help, we’ve got it covered. We have an online help area on our website and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

We’re also encouraging people to get help from friends and family to complete their census.

What to expect from our census field officers

Our census field officers are now visiting households from which we’ve not received a completed census form. They're encouraging people to complete the census and help you to access further help if you need it. Our field officers will never need to enter your house.

Our field officers are working in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and work in line with government guidance.

To find out more about how we're making sure Census 2021 is completed safely during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the ONS website.