The primary purpose of the census is to provide an accurate estimate of the population.

Accurate, reliable data about the population is an essential part of the planning process to help ensure equality of outcomes for all communities. Census information includes, for example, the numbers of women, disabled people and people of different age groups within distinct communities. National identity data will help to enrich the ethnic group data.

Census outputs, or results, rely on the willingness of all UK households to provide a range of personal information. The reliability of census outputs depends on individuals giving responses that best reflect themselves.

To this end, equality impact assessments were conducted to identify the potential impact of the census design.

An equality impact assessment is an analysis of a policy, service or function, and enables public servants to assess the implications of our decisions on the whole community.

The assessments provided a systematic way to make sure that the census fulfilled the requirements of anti-discrimination and equalities legislation.