In June 2015 ONS launched a public consultation asking census users for their views on the topics that the 2021 Census questionnaire in England and Wales might cover. Anyone could take part in this consultation, which closed in August 2015, and the resulting users’ feedback is informing further research which will contribute to the development and testing of appropriate census questions. The outcome of the consultation is described below, with the latest developments shown first.
Latest news and reports
19 October 2017 - Update on 2021 Census for England and Wales
19 October 2017 - Updated news on requirements for information on the armed forces
28 June - Estimating the number of rooms and bedrooms in the 2021 Census: An alternative approach using Valuation Office Agency data
Following the 2021 Census Topic Consultation, where it was decided it was not appropriate to continue to ask two questions on the number of rooms and bedrooms to meet a single information need, we made a commitment to explore the use of administrative data from Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to produce estimates for number of rooms. This commitment has been updated to include producing estimates for number of bedrooms. A report on an alternative approach for producing estimates on rooms and bedrooms using VOA data and a consultation to help us understand the impact this change could have on your work is now available. A Welsh translated version of the consultation is also available.
27 June 2017
We’re currently testing questions relating to the Equality Act 2010. Households have been randomly selected to take part in the survey using the address register.
The fieldwork will be taking place between 26 June 2017 to 11 August 2017.
Ipsos MORI, an independent research agency, has been contracted to undertake the research on our behalf. We’re responsible for the census in England and Wales.
If you have any questions please contact Ipsos MORI by email or phone.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0800 819 9031
03 March 2017, BMG Research survey in Wolverhampton and Hounslow on behalf of ONS
As part of the research looking at alternative question designs for the 2021 Census questionnaire, the Office for National Statistics in England and Wales has commissioned BMG Research to conduct research in Wolverhampton and Hounslow. If you live in one of these areas you may have been sent a letter inviting you to take part. The survey is taking place between February and April 2017.
If you have any questions please contact BMG Research by email or telephone.
Email: email@example.com Telephone: 0800 358 0337
20 January 2017
As part of the research looking at the possible inclusion of questions on sexual identity and gender identity on the 2021 Census questionnaire, the Office for National Statistics in England and Wales has commissioned Ipsos MORI to study the public acceptability of asking such questions in a census. The fieldwork will be taking place between January and February 2017.
If you have any questions please contact Ipsos MORI by email or telephone
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0800 819 9150
01 November 2016, The 2021 Census - Ethnic group stakeholder follow-up survey
23 May 2016, The 2021 Census – Assessment of initial user requirements on content for England and Wales: Response to consultation
This latest report presents ONS’s full response to the consultation, updating our initial view on 2021 Census content for England and Wales.
The report provides an overview of the evaluation process we used to assess the responses and summarises the results of the evaluation. It sets out ONS’s updated view on the topics to be included in the 2021 Census, including a summary of proposals for new topics, next steps and an overview of our plans.
Alongside the overview are a set of topic reports which provide more detail. These are listed alphabetically in, and downloadable from, the table below. Two research plans are included summarising proposed research and testing about suggested new topics.
Ongoing research and stakeholder engagement will help us with the development of the questions and, as part of the 2017 Census Test, questions will be tested in several local authorities. This large-scale test (involving more than 100,000 households) will use a split sample design in order to test the inclusion of a question on sexual identity.
The testing and development stages will inform our proposals for the Census White Paper on the content of the 2021 Census questionnaire. The final decision on questions will be presented to Parliament for approval in 2019.
The consultation responses in full
Provided below are the responses we received. The views expressed in each response are those of the respondent and not necessarily ONS’s views. Where a respondent has not given permission to publish their name, their response is marked as ‘Anonymous’.
|Organisations’ responses||Individuals’ responses|
|A to C||A to C|
|D to F||D to G|
|G to K||H to K|
|L to O||L to O|
|P to S||P to R|
|T to Z||S to Z|
The 2021 Census – Initial view of content for England and Wales – You said: A summary of the results: 19 November 2015
The topic consultation of June-August 2015 received over 1,000 responses. ONS issued this early overview of the responses while evaluating all the responses against the criteria we had published in June 2015.
How we ran the Consultation
ONS conducted the 2021 Census – Initial view on content for England and Wales consultation online using Citizen Space from 4 June to 27 August 2015. It asked users of census statistics for their views on the topics that the 2021 Census questionnaire might cover.
The supporting documents for the consultation are available to download.
Why we consulted
John Pullinger, National Statistician
The census and the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales: December 2013
Please note this consultation has now closed.
This consultation ran from September to December 2013. ONS invited data users’ views on two potential approaches for taking the census in the future:
A census once a decade, like that conducted in 2011, but primarily online.
A census using existing government data and compulsory annual surveys.
You might also be interested in:
- Sexual identity (662.0 kB pdf)
- Gender identity (745.9 kB pdf)
- Ethnicity and national identity (850.5 kB pdf)
- Labour Market (809.1 kB pdf)
- Education (633.0 kB pdf)
- Armed forces community (615.7 kB pdf)
- Religion (799.0 kB pdf)
- Demography (1.6 MB pdf)
- Migration (1.7 MB pdf)
- Language (687.1 kB pdf)
- Housing (1.7 MB pdf)
- Income (633.4 kB pdf)
- Genealogy (1.3 MB pdf)
- Health (1.4 MB pdf)
- Carers (620.6 kB pdf)
- Travel (1.6 MB pdf)
- Outputs and enumeration bases (661.2 kB pdf)
- Sexual identity research plan (528.8 kB pdf)
- Gender identity research plan (817.8 kB pdf)
- Named individual responses A to C (49.2 MB zip)
- Named individual responses D to G (43.9 MB zip)
- Named individual responses H to K (48.1 MB zip)
- Named individual responses L to O (46.5 MB zip)
- Named individual responses P to R (42.3 MB zip)
- Named individual responses S to Z (41.3 MB zip)
- Anonymous individual responses 1 (44.0 MB zip)
- Anonymous individual responses 2 (39.9 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses A to C (31.8 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses D to F (18.7 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses G to K (19.2 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses L to O (24.5 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses P to S (19.5 MB zip)
- Named organisation responses T to Z (19.2 MB zip)
- Anonymous organisation responses (1.8 MB zip)
- You said: A summary (999.4 kB pdf)
- Ddywedoch chi: Crynodeb o’r canlyniadau (651.8 kB pdf)
- The 2021 Census - Initial view on the content for England and Wales (3.6 MB pdf)
- Cyfrifiad 2021 – Barn gychwynnol ar gynnwys ar gyfer Cymru a Lloegr (3.8 MB pdf)
- Assessment of initial user requirements on content for England and Wales: Response to consultation (815.5 kB pdf)
- Consultation archive documents (7.6 MB zip)