We aim to release the first results for Census 2021 data on the population of England and Wales in early summer 2022, and to publish all other main Census 2021 data within two years of census. Our proposed outputs and analysis release plans are detailed on this page. On 1 March 2022, we published an update on progress towards publishing Census 2021 results.

Phase 1

Census 2021 first results

Census 2021 first results are likely to include rounded population and household estimates for England and for Wales, at local authority level and cross-tabulated by sex and age. We aim to release these in early summer 2022.

Topic summaries (mainly univariate data)

We will then begin a staggered release of topic summaries. A topic summary is a set of data and supporting commentary, grouped by a similar theme. We propose to cover these topics in the order listed:

  • demography and migration

  • ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion

  • health, disability, and unpaid care

  • housing

  • labour market and travel to work

  • sexual orientation and gender identity

  • education

  • UK armed forces veterans

We provide more information about the topic summaries, including the variables and classifications we plan to include in them, on Topic summary and area profiles webpage.

Area profiles

We will release area profiles, created from the univariate topic summary data. Area profiles allow users to view statistics from across different topics for a particular area and compare local statistics for an area against national statistics.

We provide more information about the area profiles, including the variables and classifications we plan to include in them, on Topic summary and area profiles webpage.

Phase 2

Multivariate data for the usual resident population base

We will release multivariate data based on the usual resident population of England and Wales. These releases will allow users to combine variables and explore relationships between the data.  

Alongside standard datasets that users can view and download, we will be introducing new functionality for Census 2021. This new functionality will allow users to make their own datasets, by selecting or changing different combinations of variables, classifications and geographies. More information about this new functionality can be found on the multivariate datasets webpage.

Phase 3

Alternative population bases

We will release data on alternative population bases. These are different geographical locations where individuals could have been counted for Census 2021. Examples of alternative population bases include workplace, workday, out-of-term and short-term populations. More information can be found on the alternative and small populations webpage.

Small populations

We will release data on small populations. These are groups which are defined by their cultural background, including characteristics such as ethnic group, country of birth, religion and national identity. Examples of small populations for which we are committed to producing tables include Cornish, Kashmiri, Nepalese, Sikh, Ravidassia and Jain. More information can be found on the alternative and small populations webpage.

Origin-destination data or 'flow' data

Origin-destination data describes the movement of people from one location to another. Examples of origin-destination data we plan to release include migration flow data, workplace flow data, second address flow data and student flow data. Origin-destination data will be classified in three ways: public, safeguarded, or secure. More information can be found on the origin-destination webpage.

Microdata samples

Microdata are samples of anonymised records for individuals and households, which include a selection of associated census characteristics. Microdata samples will be classified in three ways: public, safeguarded or secure. More information can be found on the microdata webpage.

Beyond March 2023: UK data

The censuses of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland took place on 21 March 2021. Because of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), to secure high-quality outputs, the Scottish Government moved Scotland's census to March 2022. This means that there is a one-year difference in reference dates and that the first outputs of Scotland's data will not be published before March 2023. 

All of the UK census offices are working closely together to understand how this difference in reference date will affect our ability to produce UK data. We have also set up a UK census data user working group, to help inform our plans for a set of UK outputs. More information can be found on the UK Census Data webpage.

Census 2021 analysis proposals

All Census 2021 data releases will be published with statistical commentary or detailed analysis. The analysis will develop in complexity as we publish more detailed data. 

We have grouped our proposals for census data analysis by topic, outlining the type of analysis we plan to do, the purpose of this research, and an indication of when it will be published. Read more about our proposed Census 2021 data analysis.

More information

From 13 July to 5 October 2021, we held a public Census 2021 outputs consultation asking users to provide feedback on these release plans. The proposals we consulted on and our two-part response to the feedback we received are published on the consultation website.

To find out more about our Census 2021 outputs release plans, email us at census.outputs@ons.gov.uk.