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2021 Census – Your Questions Answered

Why is the Census still going ahead in a Pandemic?

Many of your communities are asking this question. The consideration of whether the Census was still to go ahead was discussed, at length for many months, right up until late last year. The reason for the continuation of the census is the information it generates will support the economic and social recovery needed after the pandemic and as the country begins its period of recovery. This information cannot be created from other sources unfortunately so there is a need for this survey. More information can be found here.

Is it safe to have 1000’s of people going door to door collecting the census during the pandemic when we’ve been told to stay at home?

For the 2021 Census, responses are planned to be digital  ie. completion of an online form, similar to like paying your car tax or confirming details on the electoral roll. 75% of the population are expected to complete the Census this way. However people without internet access or who are not confident in completing electronic forms can request a paper form, ask a trusted person to help complete or complete their entry over a freephone number . Details will be included in the letter sent to all households before the Census. There may also be designated centres which people can visit to complete the forms, but this will depend on the pandemic restrictions currently in force.

Census Field Team members may need to visit homes from March 22nd if forms have not been completed. Residents will have had 3 weeks to complete their Census by this point. Initially, reminder letters will be sent, then a field operation will be planned to offer support to those who may need it. Enforcement is due to start in May. All of the action that field teams take will be completed in a covid secure manner.