On 27 March 2011 all residential households in the United Kingdom will be taking part in a census. Since 1801 a day has been chosen every ten years for this purpose (except in 1941 during the war). The census provides an excellent source of information about the population. This enables central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to identify need for housing, education, health and transport services for years to come.
Did you know that supermarkets use census statistics to work out the kind of foods they need to sell to keep local communities stocked up with their favourites? Water companies use the census data to plan the pipes for clean and wastewater – to make sure there’s enough for everyone. Fire brigades and the police use census data to help communities, putting fire alarms and crime prevention measures in specific areas. The benefits are far reaching.
The census statistics also feed into the allocation of funding for local authorities and play a major part in identifying need for local services in communities, so it is crucial the population estimate is as accurate as possible. When the questionnaire envelope comes through the door you’ll easily recognise it by the purple 2011 Census logo. Take care of it. If, like many people, you want to complete the questionnaire online, your individual internet code is on the front of the questionnaire.
The 2011 Census doesn’t want anyone to fall behind – so there is a wide range of help options available (such as language guidance booklets, large print format, Text Relay and census field staff on hand, as well as online help and telephone call centres).
More information about the 2011 Census can be found at: www.census.gov.uk