In April 2023, we released a statement advising that we were undertaking further work to improve our understanding of the gender identity data collected in Census 2021. Every decade, the census collects important information about the characteristics and lives of the people who live in England and Wales. For the first time, Census 2021 asked a voluntary question on gender identity of people aged 16 and over and these data were first published in January 2023. Gender identity is a complex topic compared to some other Census questions and we want to make sure that we provide helpful supporting information so that the results can be clearly understood.  

We have now published our first research report, which examines whether the information that people provided on the Census was coded and processed accurately. The report of this investigation ‘Collecting and processing Census 2021 data on gender identity’ concludes that 94% of respondents to the Census answered the question and there is no evidence to suggest that the published results were not coded or processed accurately. 

Further ongoing research is taking place to compare Census gender identity data with other available sources and examine what data patterns and other information collected on the Census suggest about how people answered the question.  We also intend to explore further what would be helpful to users of Census data regarding this question to ensure that we are providing the right information for them to use Census data in an informed way. Once we have completed this research we will publish our findings at the earliest opportunity. Some users may wish to wait for these reports before using these data for practical purposes. 

We plan to publish our next reports later in Summer 2023.  

To get in touch with questions or feedback, email