The Census is a once-in-a-decade survey organised by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and gives us the most accurate estimates of all people and households in England and Wales. It collects data on characteristics including education, religion, ethnicity, working life and health. Census day took place on 21 March 2021.
The Census gives decision-makers in national and local government, community groups, charities and business the opportunity to better serve communities and individuals, underpinning decision making on provision of services such as education, housing and healthcare. The population estimates from the Census are also used to allocate public money to a range of organisations including the devolved administrations, local government and the health service.
Census population estimates are vital in helping to shape the communities in which we live and work, as they:
- underpin policy making and council funding allocation from central government;
- provide information to help plan and prioritise service delivery;
- give a benchmark for estimates of population between censuses; and
- provide unique detailed demographic information about local small area populations.
It is important that Census estimates are accurate so that funding and services can be put in the places where they are needed. In between Censuses, central government funding is allocated locally based on the ONS’s mid-year population estimates. The Census acts as an important sense check and reset to these mid-year population estimates.
Census 2021 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Liaison Team has been co-ordinating work around Census 2021, which has included:
- Setting up the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Census 2021 Network, a forum for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough councils to share ideas and working practices, work collaboratively where we can, support one another and avoid potential duplication of work around Census 2021;
- Liaising with the ONS Census 2021 Quality Assurance team on data validation and quality assurance for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, providing local data to highlight areas of concern. This is an ongoing engagement process until January 2022.
Read our latest Census 2021 newsletter to get an update on our work programme.
Census 2021 outputs
The ONS aims to release the first output from Census 2021 – on population – in March 2022, with further topics releasing up until March 2023. This will include topics such as health, housing and education.