Census FAQs

I have a letter inviting me to complete the Census - do I have to do it?

Yes - it is a legal requirement for everyone to complete the census.

How do I complete the Census?

Census 2021 ways of completing the survey:

Online using the unique access code in the Census letter;

On the paper form;

At a Census support centre (if we are out of lockdown);

Over the telephone using the freephone Census helpline number;

Having someone you trust complete the survey online for you, using your information.

What information is needed:

The address

Property details

Facilities at the property

Vehicles at the property

Who is living in the house on Census day

Who is staying overnight in the house on Census day - this is anyone who is visiting or who is living temporarily in the property.

For each person the following information will be needed:


Date of birth

Official address (if they are visiting, staying temporarily or studying at home due to lockdown)

Whether they work, what they do and how they get to work

Their “identity”/ gender

Their ethnic background

Their religion

If they are a veteran

There is a paper questionnaire included in my letter - do I have to use this?

No, you can complete it online or on paper.  Use the method that is best for you.

I didn’t have a paper questionnaire in my letter but I can’t do it online - how do I get a paper questionnaire?

Call the freephone Census helpline number 0800 141 2021

Where can I get help to complete it online?

On the phone:

Call the freephone Census helpline  number- 0800 141 2021 - they can complete it with you over the phone.

If we are out of national lockdown and indoor venues can open in your area:

At a Census Support Centre, in South and East Lincolnshire, these will be in

Louth Town Hall

Boston Fenside Community Centre

Gedney Hill Memorial Hall

English is not my first language - where can I get help in my own language?

Call the Census helpline - 0800 141 2021 - they have translators available to help you

I’m not good at filling in forms - who can help me?

You can ask someone you trust to fill it in for you using your information.

Call the freephone Census helpline number - 0800 141 2021 - they will fill it in with you.

If we are out of national lockdown and indoor venues can open in your area you can go to a Census Support Centre.  Call the freephone Census helpline number and they will tell you the opening times of your local Census Support Centre.

I’ve had a call telling me they will fill in my Census for me - should I use this?

NO.  The call won’t be from the Census.  The only contact the Census will have with households will be through the field team if the Census isn’t completed for the address. 

I’ve had a call offering to complete the Census for me for a small fee - is this worth it?

NO - it’s a scam trying to get your personal information and rip you off.  All Census support is free.  All Census staff are DBS checked and will have a personal ID badge if they call at your home.  The freephone Census helpline number only uses checked and fully trained staff.

I live with my family but don’t want them to complete it for me - can I get my own Census questionnaire?

Yes you can.  Call the freephone Census helpline number - 0800 141 2021 - they can provide you with your own unique access code.

My child is at university but currently living at home due to lockdown - do I need to include them on my questionnaire?

All students are being asked to complete the census questionnaire for their term time address, even if they are not currently living there.  This is because students will return to university when the lockdown is lifted and services will be needed for students at their university or college address over the next ten years.

Why should I fill in the Census?

What is the Census data used for?

To identify health service demand, areas of health deprivation and to support future care planning;

To develop local planning to better reflect future needs and to identify inequalities at a very local level;

To assess local housing needs and to measure housing affordability;

To support funding bids for road improvements, and inform planning around areas of transport change;

To inform pupil forecasting models and school building plans and to monitor the supply of teachers;

To inform the planning of emergency services, libraries and waste collection and disposal.

What are the benefits of accurate Census data?

Appropriate level of health care, planned to match the area need;

The right level of planning and development to ensure the area has the facilities it needs;

The right level of housing, social housing and sheltered accommodation to match the area housing need;

The right road, travel and transport structure to match the area need;

The right number of schools, school places and teachers for the area need;

Effective policing, fire and ambulance services to match the area's needs.

Effective local waste collection, disposal and recycling services

If you need more information, advice or support:

Census freephone national number: 0800 141 2021

Local support:

Email  andrew.howlett88@field.census.gov.uk

Phone  07452 938641

Online www.census.gov.uk

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@Census2021                  @CensusSLNEL