Every ten years the Office for National Statistics (ONS) carries out a census to find out more about the people who live in England and Wales, and about the make-up of local neighbourhoods. For the next census the ONS will be sending out questionnaires for around 25 million households to complete.
The census asks about work, health, national identity, citizenship, ethnic background, education, second homes, language, religion, marital status and so on. These statistics are then used to build a picture of today's society.
Why does it matter?
Like all local authorities in England and Wales, The London Borough of Havering relies on census population statistics to get the government funding we need for public services. How much we get is directly related to how many and what kind of people the census says live in our area. So even if the census were to end up just a few households short, it could make a very real difference to people's lives. The census needs to include everyone, everywhere – and that's why everyone has to take part.
What do you need to do?
Simple. Just answer a few questions about yourself and the people who share your household with you on census day. Everything you tell the census is in strictest confidence and will only be used to produce statistics. ONS will not share your personal information with any other government department or organisation.
You can do it online. You can do it by post. But you must do it. So get your questionnaire back as soon as possible after census.
The census needs everyone to take part in helping tomorrow take shape – and this is your chance to make a difference.
For more information, visit the Census website.
What is Census information used for?
Census statistics provide valuable information for public and private organisations to plan services in the community over the next ten years. For example:
- An accurate population count helps the Government to calculate the grants it allocates to each local authority and health authority.
- Data collected and analysed about the age, social and economic make-up of the population, and on general health and long-term illness, enables the Government and local authorities to plan and fund health and social services.
- Information about housing and its occupants indicates where accommodation is inadequate and helps in planning new housing.
- Knowing how many people work in different occupations helps the Government, local authorities and businesses to plan job and training policies.
- Information about travel to and from work and car ownership highlights the pressures on transport systems and how road and public transport could be improved to meet local needs.
- Information about ethnic groups helps central and local government to plan and fund programmes to meet the needs of these minority groups.
- Licensed census distributors use census data to create business planning software products.
- Census statistics help research organisations to decide how, when and where to capture representative samples.
- Businesses use census data to decide where to locate or expand their premises to reflect local demand and the available workforce.