Designing for quality in Census 2021 – Webinar series
With the Census in England and Wales taking place on 21 March 2021, we created a programme of webinars to showcase our plans for design and quality assurance. The series, which was carried out through November and December 2020, included a high-level introductory overview as well as 'In Focus' sessions that outlined specific aspects in more detail. These webinars gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.
Spring census roadshows – 12 to 27 March 2019
The ONS held five regional roadshows in March 2019, covering our transformation agenda and Census 2021.
At these roadshows, we shared the latest news on our plans for Census 2021 as well as wider updates on our Population and Public Policy transformation.
The roadshows took place in:
- Bristol on Tuesday 12 March
- Leeds on Tuesday 19 March
- Nottingham on Wednesday 20 March
- Wrexham on Thursday 21 March
- London on Wednesday 27 March
Integrated Data for Population Statistics conference – 9 and 10 July 2018
We held a research conference on 9 and 10 July 2018 at the University of Surrey. The theme was “Integrated data – Combining data to answer society’s biggest questions”. The event was aimed at those interested in:
- integrated data and the 2021 Census
- statistics using alternative data sources
- methods to combine and link different types of data for population statistics
2021 Census and statistics about the Sikh community – 23 October 2017
The ONS invited organisations and individual experts who may have an interest in statistics about the Sikh community to an open meeting on 23 October 2017 in London. We shared progress in developing the questions for the 2021 Census and discussed how the need for statistics about the Sikh community can be met by the ONS.
The ONS had conducted an online survey with households in Wolverhampton and Hounslow, and interviews with members of the Sikh community. Results from the research and our current assessment of questions were presented. There was an opportunity for feedback and discussion.
2021 Census roadshows – July 2017
The ONS ran an extensive consultation on the content of the 2021 Census in England and Wales. Following this, we held four regional roadshows to share the latest news on the proposed content for the 2021 Census questionnaire.
This was an opportunity to ask experienced ONS staff questions and to find out about progress towards an Administrative Data Census beyond 2021. The roadshows covered:
- a summary of question development and testing since publication of topic consultation outcomes and progress towards 2021 Census questionnaire design
- developments towards meeting user requirements for data on sexual identity, gender identity and veterans
- research and question development for the ethnic group question, including consideration of additional response options and online question design
- the ONS’s assessment of using Valuation Office Agency data to produce estimates of numbers of rooms
- updates on other census topics including education, volunteering and central heating
- latest news from the Administrative Data Census Project on progress towards an Administrative Data Census beyond 2021
The roadshows took place in:
- Newcastle upon Tyne
Outputs reference group formed – April 2016
Ahead of the 2011 Census, the ONS established an “outputs working group” where a small group of users helped to develop census outputs. This group was superseded by an “outputs reference group” for 2021 to provide a more reactive means of sharing plans. Rather than holding formal meetings involving travel from across the country, the new group largely holds meetings online. This is to reduce the burden on users and to be more reactive to what develops. An initial meeting of the group was held in April 2016 to test the technology that will be used in the 2021 Census.
Annual Research Conference: “Transforming the census – to 2021 and beyond” – 28 to 29 June 2016
The aim of the conference was to inform stakeholders about the latest research, get feedback on the statistical design of the 2021 Census and Admin Data Census and reinforce confidence in the delivery of a successful programme.
The ONS presented research and plans around the move to a predominantly online census in 2021 and the potential move to an administrative data-based census after 2021. This included making the best use of all available data sources that are needed to produce better statistics for making better decisions. The agenda for the event can be found on Eventbrite. A list of the organisations represented at the conference can also be downloaded and you can see the session summaries. You can also read the full QA Panel Session responses, including answers to the whiteboard questions not covered on the day.
Valuable feedback and contributions from the many stakeholders who attended helps us to plan the 2021 Census and beyond.
If you need further information on the conference or the programme, please email us.
The main themes discussed
The main themes to emerge from the thoughts and questions voiced at the conference are listed and remain the topics for discussion and research. ONS welcomes an open dialogue with our stakeholders, so if you would like to contribute to these topics, please email us.
Census content and outputs
- Considering what potential changes in the questionnaire design might deliver for users – focus group discussions on user requirements for new topics such as volunteering and gender identity.
- The differences between census and administrative data definitions of households in the context of an address frame for the 2021 Census and for producing household estimates in an administrative data-based census.
Census and wider ONS transformation data collection
- Understanding and dealing with non-response to online data collection methods – who are most likely to not respond?
- Issues around understanding and measuring over coverage for the 2021 Census.
- Wider digital transformation in ONS and throughout government – how other National Statistics Institutes are digitally developing their census.
Administrative data research
- How other data (such as utility data, business registers and local authority information) may be used to help understand activity and address types, to build an enhanced address register for the benefit of both the 2021 Census and an administrative data-based census.
- How the quality of administrative data-based estimates can be measured and assessed against user requirements.
- Gauging confidence (based on our latest assessment) in our progress towards an Administrative Data Census.
Better Data for Britain – 27 May 2016
Former Census Director, Ian Cope, attended the ‘Better Data for Britain’ event in London. The census slides from this event are now available.
Market engagement supplier briefing events – February 2016
In May 2015, the ONS hosted the initial supplier briefing event for the Census Transformation Programme.
Following this market engagement activity, we ran a series of supplier briefings in February 2016 in London, Cardiff and Manchester to promote future Census Transformation Programme procurement opportunities.
These briefings updated potential suppliers on our emerging procurement plans and provided the opportunity to receive feedback. For more information about the supplier briefings, please visit the Contracts finder website.
Topic consultation roadshows – June 2015
In June 2015, the ONS held a series of public roadshows to support the consultation on topics for the 2021 Census questionnaire. You can download the roadshow agenda (PDF, 177.4KB) and the roadshow slides (PowerPoint presentation, 4.4MB). The roadshows took place in: