Census 2021 – how will it work?

The census is the biggest statistical exercise the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) undertakes, and one is scheduled for next year. While the news on vaccinations for the coronavirus is great news, the impact isn’t likely to be felt until the summer.

How will the ONS carry out the census in these straightened times? Deputy chief statistician Ian Bell recently gave this explanation for how it will work.

The census is a once every ten years event, which gives a snapshot of people and communities in England and Wales. Here at Finders International, we are familiar with the census as we use them all the time to find relatives of people who have died without a valid Will or traceable relatives. It allows us to find those relatives.

Useful info

The census helps build the most comprehensive picture of what is going on in a country, producing statistics that inform all areas of public life and are used for social and economic policies, so is it is crucial that the entire population can provide the necessary information.

The census for England and Wales is due to be delivered on 21 March 2021.

Mr Bell says up to date info is more important than ever, given the impact of the pandemic on almost every area of our lives. In 2019, the ONS held a collection rehearsal and this will inform how the collection is done next year, along with updated advice on safety and security.

The census questionnaires have already begun to be printed and the census engagement managers are already in post. They will be in charge of the operation in different areas and will be using new forums that have emerged during the coronavirus as a way of connecting with communities.

Engaging primary and secondary schools

Census-related programmes are planned for primary and secondary schools to engage pupils of all ages in the process, and the ONS has worked closely with other national statistics institutes in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA to learn lessons about how they carry out the exercise.

The ONS has worked to set up the main census field operation without people needing to enter homes. All contacts will be socially distanced, and the recruitment and training have all been moved online.

The office is also in close contact with the National Records Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency to ensure that UK-wide population statistics can be produced.

Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]