For Census 2021, we will be providing a mix of "ready-made" tables, alongside the ability for users to "build-their-own" tables using a new Flexible Dissemination System on the Office for National Statistic (ONS) website.

The Initial view on Census 2021 Output content design consultation assessed users’ requirements for this type of tool. Feedback highlighted that the anticipated improvements around the timeliness and flexibility of Census 2021 outputs are the main drivers for the support of this dissemination approach.

This flexible dissemination approach is enabled through new, dynamic statistical disclosure control methodology in order to protect data confidentiality.

The combination of additional flexibility alongside ready-made tables, similar to some of those produced in 2011, should improve the overall user experience. We have begun work on determining the ways in which users will be able to access these outputs. We are also involving users in the research and testing of those products. If you want to get involved, please contact us at census.outputs@ons.gov.uk to let us know.

On 13 July 2021, we published our proposed plans for the release of Census 2021 data and analysis on our release plans pages. Within the publication, we have included a spreadsheet listing the datasets, variables and classifications we are proposing for Census 2021 standard outputs and those we plan to make available in the "build-your-own" tables software. If you like to provide feedback on these proposals, you are invited to take part in our online public Census 2021 outputs content design and release phase proposals consultation. The consultation will remain open until 5 October 2021.

As with previous censuses, we will also make commissioned tables available upon request via the Census Customer Services.

What we have done so far

The ONS is developing its web systems with the aim of implementing a more flexible dissemination system for Census 2021. A number of prototypes are being tested using a range of census data and we have installed artificial data in versions that we use for public demonstrations. Prototyping forms a significant part of a wider set of research tools that we are using to understand and determine how we will make the data available to users.

Alongside the data tables, we are also exploring other products that we can provide to give different users access to Census 2021 data, including data visualisations, area profiles and analytical outputs.

More information

If you need more information about our plans for providing data from Census 2021, please contact us at census.outputs@ons.gov.uk with your queries.