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Census 2021 | Birmingham City Council

Key announcements

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Census 2021

Census 2021 is not over

Can I still complete the census if I missed Census Day?

Even if you've missed Census Day there is still time to complete your census!

Every household is required by law to complete the census and even though Census Day, 21 March 2021, has been and gone, it is not too late to complete a questionnaire.

We have had a great response to Census 2021 so far, but everyone needs to respond as soon as possible to avoid a fine.

What happens if I don’t do the census?

The Census 2021 team will continue to support people to respond to the census but if a household refuses to fill out a questionnaire, they will ultimately proceed to an interview under caution, which may be followed by a court summons, a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record.

You will never be asked to pay a fine online for making a mistake on your questionnaire.

Students must be counted

Students are vitally important and do count!

All students need to be included in the census, and they should complete a form for their usual term-time address even if they weren’t there on census day.

If they’re currently living at their home address, they will need to be included in the census for that household too.

If you’re an international student and not currently in England or Wales, but would normally be, we also want to count you.

All universities and colleges have details of how to get a census form.

Or visit the Census 2021 website and request an access code.

You might need to complete a form for more than one address

Everyone needs to complete a return at their usual address, even if they weren’t there on Census Day, as local services will still be required at both addresses.

If the pandemic has changed where you are currently living, for example if you moved out of a city to a rural or holiday home prior to lockdown restrictions, or you haven’t visited your city commuter flat because of lockdown, you still need to complete a census form at both addresses.

Visit the Census 2021 website and request an access code for your second address.

Empty houses need to be counted too

It is important that we have a census return for all houses, even if nobody usually lives there – for example holiday homes and caravans - because it’s a census of housing as well as a census of population.

Local councils need to know about all houses in their area so they can plan services and work out how many new houses need to be built.

Visit the Census 2021 website to request an access code if you own an empty house, flat or caravan.

I’m not a British citizen, should I be counted?

Yes. Everyone staying in England and Wales on Census Day, March 21, has to be counted.

Your information will never be shared

Personal census data is kept under lock and key for 100 years.

No individual or their responses can be identified in the statistics we publish.

In fact, your personal information can't be seen by anyone who makes decisions about you. It cannot be used by government to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes, or by landlords or any other private organisation.

How Census 2021 will make a difference to you

The census benefits us all by underpinning all the services every single one of us relies on.

It provides information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and the information from it will help inform policy at a local and national level for years to come.

From school places to the planning of bike lanes – census information is even used when deciding where to build new supermarkets, what food to put on the shelves and how many parent and toddler spaces to put in the car park.

How to fill in the Census

Census 2021 will be different as it is the first census to be mainly online. It’s easy to complete the census online using your computer, phone, or tablet.

Before the Census Day of 21 March, you should have received a letter with an access code included in it, this will allow you to complete the Census questionnaire online on the official Census website.

You will have to answer a few questions about your household before moving on to questions about each individual. Your answers should be about the people who usually live in your household on Census day.

Anyone living in the household can fill in these questions on their own if they want to or they can complete an individual questionnaire by requesting an individual access code online or through the contact centre.

Remember, it’s up to you to decide how you would like to answer each question. Do it in the way that you feel best represents you.

If you prefer, you can request a paper questionnaire by calling the Census contact centre details below.

It’s important that all of us fill in the census questionnaire. That’s why it’s a legal requirement to take part. Whatever your needs, there are support services to help you, listed below.

A wide range of support services are available

Help is available via a free Census phone contact centre.

You can call the Contact Centre to complete the Census over the phone and help you with any other questions you have regarding the Census.

Contact centre: 0800 141 2021
England NGT (text relay service): (18001) 0800 141 2021
Language helpline: 0800 587 2021

The contact centre is UK based and free to call.

There is translation support in around 50 languages on the Census website

Accessible support is available on the Census website with British Sign Language videos, Braille, large print and more

You must complete the census by law

You must complete the census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions will be clearly labelled as optional: it is not an offence if you do not answer these.

Further guidance is available on the Census website

For more information on how it impacts on Birmingham you can see the news article.

Be alert for scams

Do not be scammed.

For a fine to be imposed, your case must go to court for non-completion of the census.

You will never be issued with a fine by text message, on social media or by email.

The Census’ Cyber Intelligence team is scouring the web for phishing sites and taking them down.

If you find a site that looks suspicious or receive text messages with links to sites asking for money related to the census, do not engage with them.

Report them to the Census 2021 Contact Centre by ringing 0800 141 2021.