Latest news and events
Initial view on 2021 Census output design: response to consultation – 18 December 2018
Today, we’ve published our response to the user feedback we received in our consultation Initial view on 2021 Census output design.
Our vision is for flexible, timely and accessible census outputs. We want to make as much data available at the lowest geographic levels and as easily as possible, so users can access the data they need, whilst protecting confidentiality.
Overall, users agreed with our proposed output content and approach for disseminating 2021 Census data.
Previously, on 15 August 2018, we published a short update on the responses received in the consultation.
2021 Census White Paper — 14 December 2018
On 14 December, the White Paper 'Help Shape Our Future: The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales' outlining the recommendations for the 2021 Census was published on GOV.UK, along with the associated Equality Impact Assessment.
2021 Census topic research update — 14 December 2018
Report: Annual assessment of ONS's progress on the Administrative Data Census – 23 July 2018
This report describes what we mean by an Administrative Data Census, highlighting the main challenges and how to address them. This report is the third assessment, using a set of evaluation criteria, of how we’ve progressed on our Administrative Data Census project.
Past news and events
Integrated Data for Population Statistics conference – 9 and 10 July 2018
We held a research conference on 9 and 10 July 2018 at the University of Surrey. The theme was “Integrated data – Combining data to answer society’s biggest questions”. The event was aimed at those interested in:
integrated data and the 2021 Census
statistics using alternative data sources
methods to combine and link different types of data for population statistics
Public consultation: Initial View on Census 2021 Output Content Design – 28 February to 23 May 2018
From 28 February to 23 May 2018, we carried out a public consultation in which we outlined our initial proposed design of 2021 Census outputs and the dissemination channels for England and Wales.
We wanted to hear your views on our initial design of 2021 Census outputs to ensure our proposal would meet your needs. This feedback helps us to prioritise our future research and development of 2021 Census outputs. It also informs the order in which we release our products.
This consultation was our first step towards understanding what you need from 2021 Census outputs, including specialist products.
On 15 August 2018, we published a short update on the responses received in the consultation. We’re currently undertaking a full evaluation of all the consultation responses. We plan to publish our response to your feedback in autumn 2018.
2021 Census and statistics about the Sikh community – 23 October 2017
Office for National Statistics (ONS) invited organisations and individual experts who may have an interest in statistics about the Sikh community to an open meeting on 23 October 2017 in London. We shared progress in developing the questions for the 2021 Census and discussed how the need for statistics about the Sikh community can be met by ONS.
ONS had conducted an online survey with households in Wolverhampton and Hounslow, and interviews with members of the Sikh community. Results from the research and our current assessment of questions were presented. There was an opportunity for feedback and discussion.
Report: Annual assessment of ONS's progress towards an Administrative Data Census post-2021 – 20 June 2017:
Last year’s report described what we mean by an Administrative Data Census, and highlighted the main challenges and how to address them. Using a set of evaluation criteria, this report delivered our second assessment of our ability to move to an Administrative Data Census in the next decade.
2017 Test – spring 2017
ONS organises and conducts the census. It needs to assess a range of elements planned for the 2021 Census questionnaire to ensure that it asks the right questions and gets the maximum response.
In spring 2017, a large-scale test in preparation for the 2021 Census took place in seven local authorities and across other addresses in England and Wales. It was an exciting opportunity to shape the future of the census.
Those who took part in the test influenced directly the formulation of the 2021 Census. ONS is using the information from the test to help ensure the 2021 Census returns the most accurate picture of every neighbourhood in the country. This is essential to plan for the schools, hospitals, healthcare and leisure facilities needed in the future.
The 2017 Test took place to give us the information we need to make critical decisions ahead of the 2019 Rehearsal. The rehearsal will be ONS’s last chance to test protocols, systems and processes before the 2021 Census.
Outcomes from this and future tests will help to inform decisions on proposed topics to be included in the White Paper for the 2021 Census. The Census Order and Regulations will be presented to Parliament to agree the final questionnaire content for the 2021 Census.
2016 Test in Telford and the Wrekin – June and July 2016
The 2016 Test in June and July of that year marked the start of an exciting period of testing and development for census teams. The test asked for information from 10,000 households, hotels and care homes, which gave us invaluable data for preparing the 2017 larger-scale test.
The 2021 Census – Assessment of initial user requirements on content for England and Wales: Response to consultation – 23 May 2016
Read the full report from this consultation.
Outputs reference group formed – April 2016
Ahead of the 2011 Census, ONS established an “outputs working group” where a small group of users helped to develop census outputs. This group was superseded by an “outputs reference group” for 2021 to provide a more reactive means of sharing plans. Rather than holding formal meetings involving travel from across the country, the new group largely holds meetings online. This is to reduce the burden on users and to be more reactive to what develops. An initial meeting of the group was held in April 2016 to test the technology that will be used in the 2021 Census.
2021 Census roadshows – July 2016
ONS ran an extensive consultation on the content of the 2021 Census in England and Wales.
Following this, we held four regional roadshows to share the latest news on the proposed content for the 2021 Census questionnaire.
This was an opportunity to ask experienced ONS staff questions and to find out about progress towards an Administrative Data Census beyond 2021. The roadshows covered:
a summary of question development and testing since publication of topic consultation outcomes and progress towards 2021 Census questionnaire design
developments towards meeting user requirements for data on sexual identity, gender identity and veterans
research and question development for the ethnic group question, including consideration of additional response options and online question design
ONS’s assessment of using Valuation Office Agency data to produce estimates of numbers of rooms
updates on other census topics including education, volunteering and central heating
latest news from the Administrative Data Census Project on progress towards an Administrative Data Census beyond 2021
The roadshows took place in:
Newcastle upon Tyne
Annual Research Conference (Winchester) – 28 to 29 June 2016
"Transforming the census – to 2021 and beyond"
This conference covered the latest research and current thinking from the Census Transformation Programme. You can find out more about the conference, including the session documents produced after the conference.
Better Data for Britain – 27 May 2016
Former Census Director, Ian Cope, attended the Better Data for Britain event in London. The census slides from this event are now available.
Market engagement supplier briefing events – February 2016
In May 2015, ONS hosted the initial supplier briefing event for the Census Transformation Programme (CTP).
Following this market engagement activity, we ran a series of supplier briefings in February 2016 in London, Cardiff, and Manchester to promote future CTP procurement opportunities.
These briefings updated potential suppliers on our emerging procurement plans and provided the opportunity to receive feedback. For more information about the supplier briefings, please visit the Contracts finder website.
Topic consultation roadshows – June 2015
In June 2015, ONS held a series of public roadshows to support the consultation on topics for the 2021 Census questionnaire. You can download the roadshow agenda (PDF, 177.4KB) and the roadshow slides (PowerPoint presentation, 4.4MB). The roadshows took place in: