Date published: 16th February 2021

The Office for National Statistics – which runs Census 2021 – is working with North Norfolk District Council to deliver a successful census and help local services to fully meet future needs.  

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.

The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the Coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Steve Blatch, Chief Executive at North Norfolk District Council, commented: 

“North Norfolk District Council would encourage all of our residents and property owners to complete the Census form, either in hard copy or online formats, when asked to by the Census 2021 team as the information provided is so important in understanding the changing structure and needs of our community over time and ensuring that we secure the appropriate level of funding to provide public services in the future.

"North Norfolk is a fantastic place to live and work, but often the needs of our communities are overlooked as policy makers at a national level have a “tourist's-eye” perspective of the District - and don’t appreciate the high costs of living in rural communities, the true make-up of our local economy and the challenges of an older population accessing acute health services in locations beyond the District which are difficult to access by public transport. 

"Information provided through the Census will allow for a deeper understanding of the communities and life experiences of people across North Norfolk in terms of health, education, employment, income, housing tenure and transport and inform policy development and funding for public services in years to come - so please complete the form and make sure North Norfolk’s voice is heard in this national census.”

Paul Walmsley, Census Engagement Manager, added: “the level of advice and support given to me from both the Council and local community groups has been exceptional, I and the ONS team are determined to achieve the best possible Census for all in North Norfolk”.

Households will begin receiving letters with online codes in March explaining how they can complete their online census. People can also request a paper questionnaire if they’d prefer to complete the census that way.  In areas where lower online completion is expected, around 10% of households will receive a traditional paper form through the post.

There is plenty of help available, with people also able to complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS’ free phone contact centre. The ONS also aims to provide in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so.

The main census field operation will begin only after Census Day, contacting those who have not responded. Field staff will never need to enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, wear PPE and work in line with all government guidance. They will be operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit.

Census 2021 will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available in 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit census.gov.uk.

Last updated: 16th February 2021