Information about sexual orientation has not previously been collected in the census. Following feedback from the 2021 Census topic consultation, we committed to exploring whether to include a question on sexual orientation in the 2021 Census and published our outline Sexual identity research and testing plan.

We included a question on sexual orientation in the 2017 Test. You can see the findings of this in the 2017 Test report. Findings from our other research can be found in the 2021 Census topic research report.

Further question development work is being carried out before our recommendations inform a government White Paper in 2018.

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Past news and reports

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

Households were randomly selected from the address register to take part in this survey.

The fieldwork took place between 13 November 2017 and 24 December 2017.

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

20 January 2017, Public acceptability questionnaire

As part of the research looking at the possible inclusion of questions on sexual orientation and gender identity on the 2021 Census questionnaire, we commissioned Ipsos MORI to study the public acceptability of asking such questions in a census. The fieldwork took place during January and February 2017.

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