The 2011 Census of England and Wales took place on 27 March 2011 with a number of new approaches designed to improve census return rates in all areas and with all population groups:

Wide engagement in the community

Wide engagement was achieved with the help of local authorities, representatives of special population and accessibility groups and a national publicity campaign.

Post-out of questionnaires

All of the 25 million household questionnaires were posted out, based on a newly developed national address register.

Online completion

People were able to complete and submit their answers online or fill in and return the paper questionnaire.

Questionnaire tracking

The questionnaire tracking system allowed targeted field follow-up to identify and follow up households which had not returned a questionnaire.