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Census 2021 in Birmingham

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Why doing the census will help your local area
Census 2021 takes place this year and will provide a snapshot of modern society. Here is everything you need to know.

census 2021, birmingham
The census can help millions of pounds be invested in your communities


Households across Birmingham will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021 - the once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.

A range of jobs in suburbs across Birmingham are also available at the Census Jobs website here.

It will be the first census run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

census 2021, birmingham
The census is for everyone living in the UK, whatever language they speak


The census will include questions about your 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.

"A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed", Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

"This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That's why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them."

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

census 2021, jobs, birmingham
A range of jobs are available in Birmingham with Census 2021


Here are all your questions answered.

What is the census?

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors' surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are and how we live. There's no other survey that gives as much information about our society and future needs.

When is it happening?

Census day is March 21. However, households will receive a letter in the post in early March, giving them details of how to take part in the mandatory survey. They will also receive a unique access code, inviting them to complete the survey online, although paper questionnaires are available on request.
census 2021, birmingham
Are you ready to fill out the census?


Why should I take part?

The census helps us understand what our society needs now and what it will likely need in the future. The information it collects helps with decisions on the planning and funding of services in your area. This could include schools, doctors' surgeries, emergency services or even local support groups.

Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.

How long will it take?

The census will take around 10 minutes per person to complete. It's easy to do and can be done on any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

What if I don't speak English or Welsh?

Translation booklets are available to download. If your language is not represented, you'll be able to contact the customer contact centre.

How can I get help to complete my questionnaire?

The help pages at census.gov.uk explain how you can get help. These include general guidance, language assistance and a wide range of accessible formats including video and audio guides (English and Welsh). You can also phone the contact centre or visit one of our support centres offering assistance.

The ONS aims to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need help taking part in the census, there's a wide range of support services available.

You can request support for yourself, or someone else, including:

• guidance and help in many languages and formats
• a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer
• accessible census guidance, for example, in braille

There is a help area on the census website. It covers everything from who to include on the questionnaire to how to answer each question.

If you cannot find what you need there, there's a dedicated contact centre where census staff will be on hand to give help over the phone, in a webchat or on social media.
If you need help, visit www.census.gov.uk


What happens if I don't complete my questionnaire?

You could face prosecution, a hefty fine (up to £1000) and a criminal record.

For more information about the census, visit census.gov.uk.
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Why? help get your community the investment it needs
When: Census Day is March 21 and complete the census from March to April 2021
Where: Every home across Birmingham and online
Cost: Free
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