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2011 Census information
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TOPIC: 2011 Census information

2011 Census information 7 years, 4 months ago #22

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  • Jenna
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About the census

The next census for England and Wales will be run on 27 March 2011 and will
involve more than 25 million households. Scotland and Northern Ireland will both
run their censuses on the same day.

Why are we having a census?

A population census has been carried out in Great Britain every ten years from
1801 to 2001, except in 1941 when the country was at war. Its purpose is to
capture information for policy making, service planning and funding allocation.
It underpins the allocation of local authority and health funding from central
government. Census statistics are also widely used by academics, businesses,
voluntary organisations and the public.

Population statistics are important to inform how government distributes public
services funding, to help local authorities plan and target services such as
healthcare, education, transport and community support, and to encourage
businesses to invest in the area. Local authorities and community groups are
being consulted to make sure the 2011 Census accounts for population diversity.

The 2011 Census

Most questionnaires will be delivered by post, with 5 per cent delivered by
hand. This will be based on a national address register, compiled by ONS with
the help of local authorities through comparisons of the National Land and
Property Gazetteer (NLPG) and the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey national
address products.

People will be able to complete and submit their questionnaire online or fill it
in on paper and return it by post. Guidance will be available through an online
help centre and multi-lingual telephone helpline, and in accessible formats at

Special arrangements are being made for communal establishments such as boarding
schools, prisons, military bases, hospitals, care homes, student halls of
residence and hotels – and for rough sleepers, royal apartments and embassies

Who uses the statistics?

Census statistics provide valuable information for public and private
organisations to plan services in the community over the next ten years, for
An accurate population count helps the Government to calculate the grants it
allocates to each local authority and health authority
Data collected and analysed about the age, social and economic make up of the
population, and on general health and long-term illness, enables the
Government and local authorities to plan and fund health and social services
Information about housing and its occupants indicates where accommodation is
inadequate and helps in planning new housing
Knowing how many people work in different occupations helps government, local
authorities and businesses to plan job and training policies
Information about travel to and from work and car ownership highlights the
pressures on transport systems and how road and public transport could be
improved to meet local needs
Information about ethnic groups helps central and local government to plan and
fund programmes to meet the needs of these minority groups
Licensed census distributors use census data to create business planning
software products
Census statistics help research organisations to decide how, when and where to
capture representative samples
Businesses use census data to decide where to locate or expand their premises
to reflect local demand and the available workforce.

The census questionnaire

The 32-page, 2011 Census questionnaire contains 56 questions: 14 about the
household and its accommodation and up to 42 for each member of the household to
complete. These include questions about work, education, national identity,
citizenship, ethnic background, second homes, language, health, religion and
marital status.
People who live in Wales will have questionnaires in Welsh and English, plus a
question about the Welsh language.
The questionnaire will include usual residents and any visitors staying the
night on Census Day.

What happens to the data?

Personal census data is kept confidential for 100 years and used only to produce
census-related publications and analyses for geographic areas. This information
is not shared with other government departments or marketing agencies.
Data handling and storage is subject to the requirements of the Data Protection
Act. ONS employees and their appointed census contractors are bound by the 1920
Census Act and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics and Registration
Service Act 2007 (SRSA).

More than 200 years of census history

The first official census in Britain took place in 1801, following the
publication of demographer Thomas Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population
in 1798. Before this, many people were against a population count. Some
churchgoers thought it sacrilegious and some people thought it would threaten
national security if enemies knew the make up of the population and numbers of
men in the armed forces.

Malthus’ essay caused alarm by suggesting that population growth would soon
outstrip supplies of food and other resources and, unable to support itself,
Britain would be hit by famine, disease and other disasters. This rapidly
dispelled opposition to the count and gave the second bill an easy passage
through Parliament.

Parliament passed the Census Act in 1800 for the first official census of
England and Wales to take place on 10 March 1801.
Information was collected from every household by the Overseers of the Poor,
with the help of constables, tithing men, head boroughs and other officers of
the peace. The exercise revealed that Great Britain's population at the time was
just 9 million.

The census taken in 1841 is widely regarded as the first truly modern census,
when the first Registrar General of England and Wales, John Lister, was made
responsible for its organisation.

For the first time, the head of each household was given a form to fill in on
behalf of everyone in the household on a certain day. This still forms the basis
of how census are taken today.

Since 1801 there has been a census in Great Britain every ten years except in
1941, during the Second World War. The basic principles of census taking remain
the same, with new questions added and others left out as a result of social
changes and the need to refine statistics to provide a more detailed description
of the population across different areas and communities.

Re: 2011 Census information 7 years, 3 months ago #170

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  • Chunky
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Census time is nearly here, found this pdf that explains it all.

the helpline is 0300 0201 101
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