• A census is a count of people and households, and is used to set policies and estimate resources required to provide services for the population.

  • Summary overview of the core elements of the 2011 Census: questionnaire post out, address register, online submission, topics covered by questions, publicity, questionnaire tracking and follow-up.

  • Understand the differences between the designs for the 2001 and 2011 censuses, and how the Office for National Statistics arrived at the design for 2011.

  • The 2011 Census of England and Wales employed new approaches to improve census return rates in all areas and with all population groups.

  • The report summarises the entire census operation spanning ten years, from the early consultation, legislation and planning stages, through the field activities and data processing.

This section summarises the activities involved in the research and planning, and the vast mobilisation of resources, required to run a census.