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2011 Census - Foreword by the National Statistician

Released: 16 July 2012 Download PDF

The Census of Population, conducted every ten years, is an unparalleled source of information about the numbers, distribution and characteristics of the population of England and Wales. The information is obtained about the entire population at one time, and all persons are legally required to be included.

The 2011 Census was carried out on 27 March 2011, and the information from it will make an essential contribution to public policy and service provision, and will form the basis for key decisions, in both the public and private sectors over the next ten years.

This publication reports on the first results from the 2011 Census for England and Wales. It provides a picture of the usually resident population, resident households and short-term residents.

Every census has its unique features - new developments and innovations to meet changing user needs, to reflect evolving socio-demographic and economic circumstances, and to embrace new methodologies and technologies. In designing the 2011 Census the Office for National Statistics (ONS) took into account both the lessons learned from the 2001 Census and the expected changes in society between 2001 and 2011. ONS also took account of recommendations made by external bodies, such as the Treasury Select Committee, the National Audit Office, the Statistics Commission, the Public Accounts Committee and the Local Government Association in their own independent reviews of the 2001 Census.

However, the success of the 2011 Census has only been made possible by the co-operation of members of the public who completed and returned their census forms; by the hard work of the Census field staff who helped them to do so; by the assistance of many other people and organisations, particularly local authorities, with all aspects of the operation; and by the diligence of my own staff at ONS and colleagues in the Welsh Government in Cardiff. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has contributed to the 2011 Census, but particularly the public who have responded so well.

Jil Matheson

National Statistician

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Further information

The future of the census (National Statistician's recommendation) - This short video shows the National Statistician, Jil Matheson, outlining her recommendation for the future of the census.


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