Every 10 years, for over 200 years, every household in England and Wales has been required to respond to the census.
The 2011 Census successfully provided population statistics that will be used for the next decade by planners, policy makers and researchers across the public and private sectors.
But our population is changing rapidly, and the need to understand these changes will continue. The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Beyond 2011 programme is currently reviewing these needs, and how they might best be met in future.
Improvements in technology and in government data sources offer opportunities to either modernise the existing census process, or to develop an alternative census method that reuses existing data already held within government.
Over the past two years, we have been talking to a wide variety of users of population statistics and researching different approaches to meeting their needs. In reviewing these approaches, we’ve also considered issues of cost, benefit, statistical quality and public acceptability. You can read more about this work by following the related links on this page.