The census is a complex project that takes many years of organisation and development. The following table explains the project milestones that are crucial to producing and running the census successfully.
The dates for these milestones are based on our current projections and might change as we progress.
|Census Collection rehearsal and evaluation||February 2020||A public facing test of the online and paper channels, and field force, at scale. An evaluation of the rehearsal will be published.²||Successfully completed|
|Census Regulations in force||June 2020 (dependent on census order approval date)||Delivering the legislative process||Successfully completed|
|Census processing and outputs rehearsal||July 2020||A test of the processing and outputs channels at scale||Successfully completed|
|Census processing and outputs rehearsal evaluation||August 2020||An internal evaluation of the processing and output rehearsal||Successfully completed|
|Statistical Design for Census 2021||October 2020||The end to end statistical design for Census 2021 is published³ alongside a summary overview.⁴||Successfully completed|
|Operational planning response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)||October 2020||The potential impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for Census 2021 and the design changes and contingency plans made in response.⁵||Successfully completed|
|Census 2021 webinar series||November to December 2020||Sharing our plans and providing opportunities to ask questions and give feedback.⁶||Successfully completed|
|Census end-to-end testing||November 2020 to January 2021||The final major testing period for all census collection systems||Successfully completed|
|Census operationally ready||February 2021||Everything in place ready to start census collection||Successfully completed|
|Field force ready for deployment||March 2021||All our field force staff complete their training and are ready for deployment||Successfully completed|
|Census letters sent to all households and communal establishments||February 2021 – Communal establishments, March 2021 – Households||Start dates for mailing out paper contact materials||Successfully completed|
|Census Day||Sunday 21 March 2021||Successfully completed|
|Census Field Operation||March to May 2021||The census field force are deployed to visit people who have not yet responded, to offer help and encourage people to take part.||Successfully completed|
|Census Coverage Survey||May to June 2021||We conduct a short survey to find out how many people we have missed and how many people have been counted more than once in the census.||Successfully completed|
|Publish draft of the outputs schedule||July 2021||We publish a draft timetable of the various outputs of data from the census.⁷||Successfully completed|
|Census outputs consultation||July to October 2021||Consulting with the public for feedback on our proposals for the design and release of Census 2021 data and analysis.||Successfully completed|
|Publish full details of the outputs release schedule||March 2022||We publish the full details of the timetable of outputs.||Updated 15th October 2021|
|National Statisticians Accreditation of census outputs||February 2022||Decision by the Office for Statistics Regulation on designation of National Statistics status for 2021 Census outputs|
|Publication of first results||Late spring 2022||We publish the first results from the census.||Updated 15th October 2021|
|Final release of outputs||March 2023||We release all census data outputs for England and Wales.|
Download this table.xls .csv
"*" All dates are subject to change as census work progresses.