The Census is a count of all people and households in England and Wales and is carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). A census has been conducted every 10 years since 1801 except for 1941. The most recent census was taken on 27th March 2011. Everyone is asked the same questions on the same day in order to take a snapshot of the population that allows us to compare people, households and communities across the country.
Information collected on the questionnaires helps government and local authorities plan the services and resources people need in their communities including topics such as transport, housing, health and social care and education.
New questions asked about second homes and type of central heating for the first time reflecting the changing patterns of how we live in the twenty-first century. There were also new questions on languages spoken, passports held and, for persons not born in UK, their date of arrival and intended duration of stay.
Inputting the information from the millions of forms generated by the 2011 census has been a huge exercise. This has now been completed and work is underway to produce the population database that will inform policy and resource allocation for the next decade. The first results to be produced from the census will be headline population counts for the boroughs and other local authorities that will be published in July.