Mnemonic: in_full_time_education
Applicability: Person
Type: Standard variable


Indicates whether a person aged 5 years and over was in full-time education on Census Day, 21 March 2021. This includes schoolchildren and adults in full-time education.

Schoolchildren and students in full-time education studying away from home are treated as usually resident at their term-time address.


Total number of categories: 3

Code Name
1 Student
2 Not a student
-8 Does not apply*

*Children aged 4 years and under.

Question asked

Are you a schoolchild or student in full-time education?

  • Yes
  • No

The question and options that people could choose from were the same in Census 2021 and the 2011 Census.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Why we ask the question

The answer helps communities by allowing local and central government to plan services and set aside resources for their area. They base their plans on the number of people living in their area, so it's important that they know how many schoolchildren and students are in the local community.

The census first asked this question in 1851.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Broadly comparable

We have removed the category “Schoolchild or full-time student” for Census 2021 and replaced it with “Student”. In the 2011 Census people aged 4 years and over were asked to answer the question, in Census 2021 people aged 5 years and over were asked to answer the question.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Highly comparable

What does highly comparable mean?

A variable that is highly comparable means that it can be directly compared with the variable from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The questions and options that people could choose from may be slightly different, for example the order of the options may be swapped around, but the data collected is the same.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

You can:

Other datasets that use this variable