it’s about us

Protecting your information

The confidentiality of your personal information is our top priority

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We are independent

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the statistics we produce are independent from government. We report directly to the UK Parliament, but we do not work for any political parties.

You cannot be identified

The personal information you put on your census is only used for statistical purposes. Our statistics do not contain any information that will allow you or anyone you live with to be identified. Personal information includes things like your name, date of birth and address.

Government departments, local councils and businesses will not be able to see any of your personal information.
The information you provide will not be used to identify you for things like benefits, immigration, your income, taxes, and housing. Your landlord or anyone else will not be able to see any of your personal information either.

Warning:

You must complete the census by law or you could be fined up to £1,000

Some questions are labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if you do not answer these.

How we protect your information

The confidentiality of your personal information is our top priority. We only publish statistics from the census to help plan and fund national and local services, such as education, transport and healthcare. Census information is protected by law and strict government standards.

Find out more about your data and security

Optional questions

Some questions on the census are optional, so you do not need to fill these in. You can also ask for an individual questionnaire if you do not want other people in your household to see your answers.

If you need to answer separately from the people you live with, you can request an individual access code to start a separate census.

About the census

What is the census?

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

The census is happening on Sunday 21 March 2021 and we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to take part.

Find out more about the census

Get in touch

If you need further help with your census, contact us.