Why is taking part in the Census 2021 survey important?

North Somerset residents will take part in a once-in-a-decade census this year.

North Somerset residents will take part in a once-in-a-decade census this year. - Credit: ONS

Residents across North Somerset will have started to receive letters through the post asking them to take part in this year's Census, but why is it important to do so?

The census survey is mandatory by law and provides the most precise estimate of all the people living across the UK for the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The Census Act 1920 requires each person living in North Somerset to complete the survey and this year has two voluntary questions, with regards to sexual orientation and gender identity for those over 16.

When is census day 2021?

North Somerset's census engagement manager, Lisa Wareham. - Credit: Lisa Wareham

Since 1801, the census has been carried out each decade, bar 1941 due to the Second World War, though this edition will be like no other, according to North Somerset's Census Engagement Manager.

Lisa Wareham said: “This will be a digital-first census and we will be encouraging people to respond online if they can.

"The majority of people will receive a letter inviting them to take part online, with paper questionnaires available to people who need them."

Many findings crop up in the surveys, such as the rapid decline of Jediism spotted in the 2011 census as around 177,000 people identified as Jedi Knights - more than half of the number given in 2001.

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Data will take roughly one year to process and will play an important role in shaping the UK over the coming decade.

How to take part in the census during lockdown

This will make the first digital-first census, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: ONS

“It is really important for residents of North Somerset to complete the census as it will give a snap-shot of what our communities look like in 2021 and provide us with important insights into the impact of the pandemic.

"The data received will provide information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and will help inform local policy on public services and help funding for charities within North Somerset for years to come.”

Census Day is scheduled for March 21 and residents will need to enter a 16-digit code provided to them before taking part in the survey, which is expected to take 10 minutes.

For more information, log-on to www.census.gov.uk

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