What is the census? 

The census is a survey that provides a detailed picture of all the households in England and Wales – everything from your ethnicity and age to employment and religion.

It happens every 10 years, with the next census taking place on Sunday 21 March 2021. 

Each household will receive a letter on that day containing a unique 16-character access code. Individuals can then fill out the form online, via their phones, laptops or computers by visiting census.gov.uk.

You are encouraged to fill the form online, but you can request a paper copy by visiting the official census website.

If you do not receive a letter on 21 March, contact 0800 141 2021. If you need any help filling out the census, contact Harrow Carers at 0208 868 5224.


Failure to complete the census may result in a £1000 fine

The census only needs to be filled by one member of the household on 21 March 2021 or as soon as possible after. Failing to do so, a field officer will visit the house to encourage residents to fill it in. Those who still do not take part, or give false information, will face a fine up to £1000.

The census as a whole is compulsory, but questions on sexual orientation and religion are voluntary.


Identifying as a Carer

It’s important for you to let the census know you are a carer. More than half (54%) of carers took over a year to recognise that they are a carer, with nearly one in four carers taking 5 years to identify as a carer. 

If you are someone who is providing unpaid care for someone who has any illnesses or disabilities, whether that be routinely helping out with the shopping or medication, then you are a carer. 

The government can use this information to plan and fund local services to aid you. We at Harrow Carers will also receive this data, allowing us to make decisions on how to better our services and support your needs.

By identifying as a carer, Harrow Carers can help you prioritise your own physical and mental health. We’ll also point you in the right direction to any financial and practical support that you’re entitled to.


One question about carers

There’s one question about carers in the 2021 census. 

You’ll be asked:

“Do you look after, or give any help or support to, anyone because they have long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses, or problems related to old age?”

You can either choose “No” or “Yes”, and then select how many hours you care during a week if you choose “Yes”. This ranges from 9 hours to 50+. If you identify yourself as an unpaid carer, be sure to select “Yes” for Question 24.


How can the census help carers?

The data obtained from the census can help carers’ organisations to make better informed decisions and improve their services to best suit your needs.

The census will provide information about carers and their situation, including:

  • How many carers there are currently in the UK
  • The gender breakdown of carers
  • Population density of carers across the UK
  • Age range of carers and how this differs across each area
  • The 2021 census will also ask, for the first time, questions about sexual orientation to help identify LGBT carers. These questions are voluntary, so individuals do not need to answer these if they do not want to.


If you need any help filling out the census, feel free to contact us at 0208 868 5224.