Over the coming weeks, students will receive a letter detailing how to complete the 2021 Census.
The Census is a survey run by the Office for National Statistics. It occurs every 10 years, in order to gather information about you and your household. This year, the Census is set to take place on March 21, 2021.
Responses aid organisations such as charities and local authorities to plan for how best to fund various public services, including education, transport and healthcare. Every household, including students, must complete a census questionnaire for their household.
If, due to the lockdown, you have returned home but would regularly reside in student accommodation, you must complete both the questionnaire sent to your term-time address and the questionnaire sent to your household address. The Census website provides further guidance and asks that you request a new access code should you be unable to retrieve the copy sent to your university address.
The 2021 Census will provide new information about households across England and Wales and will hopefully shed new light on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and how individuals have been affected differently. Furthermore, it will provide invaluable information to help ensure that public services meet societal needs in upcoming years.
It is a legal requirement to complete the Census. Should you not, you could face a fine of up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary and as such it is not an offence if you do not answer these.
Equally, if you wish to fill out these voluntary questions (typically related to sexual orientation and gender identity) but do not want other members of your household to know your answers, the Census gives the option to provide your answer separately from that of your household.
Simply select the option to answer separately from your household when you begin the Census, and you will receive a code via text to fill out the Census online. No one will know that you have requested the code and anything written about you in your household’s Census will be overridden by the answers you give.
Ensure that you have filled your Census out on or before Sunday, March 21, 2021 in order to avoid the potentially hefty fine.