Working together to deliver a successful Census 2021

The Office for National Statistics – which runs Census 2021 – is working with Monmouthshire County Council to deliver a successful census and help local services to fully meet future needs.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations such as councils and health authorities plan and fund public services across England and Wales.  Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries for example.

The census, taking place on 21st March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people experience, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Councillor Paul Jordan, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for governance and law said: “The information collected from the census helps councils understand the demands for vital public services – like planning school places or the demand for housing – by giving us accurate forecasts of population change in our communities.  Census 2021 also influences how much money we get from central government to help provide vital local services, so it’s really important that everyone in Monmouthshire completes it”.

Households will begin receiving letters with online codes in March explaining how they can complete their online census.  People can also request a paper questionnaire if they’d prefer to complete the census that way.  In areas where lower online completion is expected, around 10% of households will receive a traditional paper form through the post.  There is plenty of help available, with people also able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS free contact centre.  The ONS also aims to provide in-person support to complete the census online through census support centres, which will be located at Monmouthshire’s community hubs.  Appointments for support can be booked via the council’s contact centre.

The main census field operation will begin only after Census Day, contacting those who have not responded.  Field staff will never need to enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, wear PPE and work in line with all government guidance.  They will operate in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit.

Census 2021 will include questions about people’s sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity.  And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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

For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit