The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is committed to ensuring we deliver a high quality, inclusive census, which enables everyone to be counted. Following the court’s judgment, we will be focusing all our efforts on maximising responses to Census 2021 from everyone and will not be progressing further with the case.
We are continuing to ask a binary choice – female or male – sex question on the census. This approach is unchanged since 1801. There is also a new voluntary question on gender identity for people aged 16 years and over later in the questionnaire.
As with previous censuses, most people will not need help to answer the sex question. For those that do, we are providing guidance as we do for all census questions. In line with the court’s order, we amended the guidance on the sex question to advise people to use the sex as recorded on a birth certificate or gender recognition certificate if they are considering how to answer.