We had the biggest-ever public consultation response to topics that should be included in the 2021 Census. Most of the topics being considered for inclusion were decided by evaluating responses to this consultation. There are a few that we are still considering how, or whether, to meet users need for information though. These topics include sexual identity, gender identity, armed forces veterans, volunteering, supervisory status, number of rooms and bedrooms and the year in which someone last worked. On this page you’ll find our latest news and reports on our development work.

Latest news and reports

24 November 2017, Quantitative research on data quality and non-response for sexual orientation

We’re currently testing questions to make sure the 2021 Census questionnaire is as easy as possible to complete. Households have been randomly selected to take part in the survey using the address register.

The fieldwork will be taking place between 13 November 2017 and 24 December 2017. 

IFF Research, an independent research agency, has been contracted to undertake the research on behalf of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). ONS is responsible for the census in England and Wales. 

If you have any questions please contact IFF Research by email or phone.


Telephone: 0800 035 6057

9 August 2017, Summary report: 2017 ethnic group question test – Sikh ethnic group and religious affiliation findings

This report summarises findings from testing a Sikh ethnic group response option within the 2017 Ethnic Group Question Test.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) commissioned the research as part of question development work for the 2021 Census. It was carried out by BMG Research.

The research will feed into our evaluation of requests for additional response options for the census ethnic group question. We’ll publish this in autumn 2017. We’ll also be publishing the full 2017 Ethnic Group Question Test report in the autumn.

28 June 2017, Estimating Rooms and Bedrooms consultation 28 June to 20 September

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.

3 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 commissioned BMG Research to conduct research in Wolverhampton and Hounslow. This survey took place between February and April 2017 and has now closed.

27 February 2017, Updated news on requirements for information on the armed forces

ONS and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has established a working group to better understand the need for information on armed forces leavers and the best way to meet that need. The group is meeting regularly to develop and progress 3 potential themes to best meet the information need.

20 January 2017, Sexual identity and gender identity public acceptability questionnaire

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 commissioned Ipsos MORI to study the public acceptability of asking such questions in a census. This survey ran from January to February 2017 and has now closed.

1 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.

Download The 2021 Census – Assessment of initial user requirements on content for England and Wales: Response to consultation

Cyfrifiad 2021 - Asesiad o ofynion cychwynnol defnyddwyr o ran cynnwys ar gyfer Cymru a Lloegr: Ymateb i’r ymgynghoriad