Remember to fill in your Census

There has been a great response to Census 2021, millions of households across England and Wales have already made sure they count when it comes to planning and provision of the key services we all rely upon, like GP surgeries, school places and hospital beds, by filling out their census form.

However, it is vital that everyone who hasn’t yet responded does so as soon as possible now Census Day, 21 March 21, has been and gone. Field officers are already out and about and will visit households who have not submitted their census this Easter weekend. The operation will reach its peak next week so more officers will be knocking at doors where our records show there has been no response. The role of field officers is to give encouragement to those who have not yet filled in their census questionnaire online or on paper after Census Day and direct them to the support services they need. Households which haven't completed will also receive reminder letters (the first of which has already been posted).

Field staff will never enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, be equipped with PPE and work in line with all government guidance. They will be operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They also carry ID to show they are genuinely working on the census.


“Census 2021 has gone brilliantly so far,” Office for National Statistics director of operations Pete Benton said. “The overwhelming majority of people across England and Wales have already taken part and we’ve heard some great stories: from those completing their 10th census to those completing their first. But, for us to have the most accurate picture of the whole population, we need everyone to fill in their questionnaire. By doing so you will be helping shape the local services in your community – the bus routes, school places, the hospital beds. You can do it easily online, but for those who want help, we have a range of census support centres open across England and Wales, and paper forms are available for those who need them. Everyone is required by law to respond to the census and if you do so now you won’t be fined.”

The census questionnaire is simple, straightforward, and safe to complete online. It only takes 10 minutes per person in a household.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. 

Do you have to take part?

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.

When should you fill in your census questionnaire?

Census day was Sunday 21 March 2021, but you still have time to fill yours in. If your letter with your code went missing, you can visit and have a code texted to a mobile. However, your answers should be about the people who were in your household on 21 March.

Will the government use the information you have shared to identify you?

No. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) carries out the census in England and Wales. The census team will only ever publish anonymous information from the census. In fact, it's a crime to share personal census information and any information you provide is protected.

What if you cannot fill in your census questionnaire online?

Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If not, there is a wide range of support services available. 

Services include:

  • Census support centres – Ileys Community Centre (0121 448 3940), EWA (0121 740 0824), for BSL users Sandwell Deaf Community Association (0121 553 0201)
  • guidance and support in many languages and formats
  • help over the phone, in a web chat or on social media
  • a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer
  • accessible census guidance, for example, in braille

If you need help filling in your census, call 0800 141 2021. If English isn't your first language, the number to call is 0800 587 2021.