The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for planning and running Census 2021. The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. It is a huge project that takes many years of organisation and development. We are working hard to ensure that all the stages of the census run smoothly.

Our Census news page provides the latest updates on progress towards Census 2021. You can find out more about the design of the census, what we have done to develop the questions for 2021 and any upcoming events for Census 2021.

The following table explains the important milestones that we are aiming to meet. These milestones are crucial aspects of producing and running the census successfully.

Using the following information, you can see what stage of census development we are working on currently. The dates for these objectives are based on our current projections and might change as we progress.


  1. "*" All dates are subject to change as census work progresses.

  2. 2019 Rehearsal

  3. Statistical design for census 2021, England and Wales

  4. Statistical Design for Census 2021 – Summary Overview

  5. Operational planning response to the coronavirus pandemic for Census 2021

  6. Design for quality on Census 2021 – Webinar series