Every 10 years, for over 200 years, every household in England and Wales has been required to respond to the census.

The 2011 Census successfully provided population statistics that will be used for the next decade by planners, policy makers and researchers across the public and private sectors. But our population is changing rapidly, and the need to understand these changes will continue. Improvements in technology and in government data sources also offer new opportunities. During the last few years, the Beyond 2011 programme assessed the different possible approaches to producing population and housing statistics in future. The vision for the programme is to make the best use of all available population data to help shape tomorrow, and the Census Transformation Programme (CTP) will now take forward the implementation of this vision through three major strands of concurrent work:

  • Strand 1 will look at how to run the 2021 Census data collection operation and its coverage survey, including the address register, field force, online/paper data collection, public support and enumeration of communal establishments

  • Strand 2 will deal with how we integrate census and administrative and survey data to provide and disseminate census outputs

  • Strand 3 will look further ahead, addressing how we produce population statistics beyond the 2021 Census