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The making of Census 2021, from collection to results video transcript

Francesca Falco, Engagement Service Manager:

The Census is a survey that happens every ten years.

We at the Office for National Statistics run the census.

And what it does effectively is give us a really clear picture of society across England and Wales and how it’s changing over time.

Pete Benton, Deputy National Statistician:

The census is vital for planning all of our local services, whether it’s school places or hospitals or even how wide our roads need to be.

They all depend on the number and the types of people in different areas.

Jonathan Wroth-Smith, Head of Census Statistical Design:

The statistics we produce from the census are all about public benefit and they benefit everybody.

So, we use the census within the Office for National Statistics, and also across government to be able to make decisions about providing services for people.

The quality of those numbers is important for quality, the sorts of decisions that we make.

Celaine Cooper, Research Officer:

Well, the census has been running for over 200 years. It was first launched in 1801.

It was launched to capture the population of people who live here, their date of birth, in order to understand about the demographic.

Pete Benton, Deputy National Statistician:

The questions change over time, and you know back in the 1900s we were asking questions about outside toilets and kitchen sinks.

This time for the first time we’ve asked questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, and whether or not people have ever served in the armed forces.

And that is so we can truly understand the needs of those populations and their life experiences.

Jonathan Wroth-Smith, Head of Census Statistical Design:

So, I think we got a really high return rate because I think we were able to connect with people and explain to people why it was important.

And then importantly, make it as easy as possible for them to respond.

So, yes, it was online, but we always made sure that if you wanted to get a paper questionnaire, it could be posted to you really, really quickly. If you needed support to be able to complete the census, there was a multitude of different ways to do that.

So, I think we made it easy. We made it important for people and people responded, and that was fantastic.

Pete Benton, Deputy National Statistician:

First 2021 Census results will be available in early summer, and then we’ll have a regular series of more and more information coming out beyond that.

Ed Morgan, Head of Census Analysis Coordination:

So, you’ll be able to interact with the data in a number of ways.

So, we’ll have a census atlas that you’ll be able to interact with and try to find out the stats on your local area.

We will have scrollytelling articles that you’ll be able to interact with.

We’ll also have interactive games as well you can have fun with.

Pete Benton, Deputy National Statistician:

So, a huge thank you to everybody who filled in their census form in 2021.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the fabulous rich picture of our nation that it paints.