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Census 2021 has officially started, with many members of the public already answering their questions online. Here’s all of the latest from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), including how to start your survey, and where to find an access code.
The census is a type of survey that happens every 10 years in the UK.
It provides the government with the most up-to-date information on the population, including their occupations, living situations, and demography.
The answers to the questions will help organisations to make future decisions on funding or planning, as well as transport and healthcare.
Every household should complete the census, with the last date for entries on Sunday March 21.
How to start your form
To start answering your questions, you’ll need to have your census letter handy.
Every household should receive a letter from the ONS explaining how to complete the census.
The letter will tell you to head to census.gov.uk to start the census online.
But you’ll also need an access code to get started, otherwise you won’t be able to start answering questions.
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How to get your access code
Your personalised access code should be found in the middle of your household’s census letter.
It’s a 16-character code that features both numbers and letters.
If you’ve lost your letter or not received an access code, you can still request a new one on the census website.
Simply enter your household postcode, and you’ll receive your brand new access code.
If you’ve already started filling out the questions, and then stopped halfway through, you’ll still need your access code.
Applying for a new access code with delete any answers to questions that you’ve previously filled out.
It’s absolutely crucial that you complete the census by Census Day 2021, on Sunday March 21.
If you don’t complete the survey on time, you could be liable for a fine.
The census is a legal requirement, so you could be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t fill out your questions.
Some of the questions are clearly labelled as voluntary, and you won’t be fined if you don’t answer those ones.
Everyone in England and Wales must complete a census for the household that they’re staying in.
Each household owner or renter is responsible for completing the survey.
You’ll still need to complete the census if you live in private or rented accommodation, if you’re a student, or if you have a second home.
You won’t need to complete the census if you’re in the UK for a short stay or holiday of under three months.
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