Everyone will benefit from Census 2021

Date: 24/02/2021

Households across Gwynedd will be asked to take part in Census 2021 this spring.

The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries – or, in Gwynedd Council’s case, funding services for community engagement.

Gwynedd Community Arts have used past census data to help identify areas in Gwynedd which are likely to have a high proportion of lonely people for the Memories of Song/Talk and Song project.

The communities of Bethesda, Tremadog, Pwllheli, Deiniolen, Gellilydan, Trawsfynydd and Y Bala have seen benefits through having, for example, school children visit care homes to entertain the residents, regular group meetings in the community to have a chat and sing, helping them to feel less lonely and a part of their community.

Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“The census provides a unique snapshot of our communities,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at Office for National Statistics, said. “It benefits everyone. Based on the information you give, it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GP’s and dentist’s services.

“No-one should miss out. Everyone can complete on online with a new search-as-you-type ability and paper forms for those who need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part. The census 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.

In Wales, households will also be asked a specific question about their Welsh language skills. And those who wish to complete the census in Welsh can do so both online and in paper form. There are "Cymraeg" and "English" buttons to switch between languages at any time online, and on paper you can use Welsh and English on the same form.

Results will be available within 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, visiit https://www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/en/Council/Key-statistics-and-data/The-Census/2021-Census.aspx