Working together to deliver a successful Census 2021

Posted on: Friday 12 March 2021
Census 2021 Logo

The Office for National Statistics – which runs Census 2021 – is working with Torfaen Council to deliver a successful census and help local services to fully meet future needs.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales.

Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.

The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Census 2021 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.

Households should have now started to receive letters which contain an online code and guidance on how they can complete their online census. Residents can also request a paper questionnaire if they’d prefer to complete the census that way.

Leader of Torfaen Council, Councillor Anthony Hunt, said: " Taking part in the Census 2021 can help inform where public money is spent and how services should operate. The information collected also aids the council in making well informed decisions locally and helps us plan and fund future services. 

If you, or someone you know needs support to complete the Census form, Age Connects Torfaen is offering a telephone appointment or a virtual appointment service, so please get in touch."

Ellie Barker, Census Engagement manager for ONS, said: “Everyone benefits from the census. The data it collects informs decisions, nationally and locally on vital services, funding and issues like diversity. It’s a Digital first but not a digital only census and paper copies can still be requested for those who need them.

As soon as you get your unique code in the post, complete your questionnaire. The answers you give will provide a unique snapshot of the UK on Sunday 21st March 2021. All answers must reflect your circumstances on that day or evening. Every response counts.”

In areas where lower online completion is expected, around 10% of households will receive a traditional paper form through the post.

There is plenty of help available, with people also able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS’ free phone contact centre on 0800 141 2021, or by contacting Age Connects Torfaen on 01495 769264.

The ONS also aims to provide in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so.

The main census field operation will begin only after Census Day, contacting those who have not responded. Field staff will never need to enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, wear PPE and work in line with all government guidance.

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

For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit

Last Modified: 12/03/2021 Back to top