2021 United Kingdom census

2021 census of the population of the United Kingdom

On 21 March 2021, the censuses of England and Wales and of Northern Ireland took place. The census of Scotland is planned to take place in 2022. Censuses have been done in the United Kingdom every 10 years since 1841. They are now run by the Office for National Statistics.

Census 2021
England and Wales
AreaEngland and Wales
RegistrarProfessor Sir Ian Diamond (as National Statistician) [1][2]
Census day(s)21 March 2021
Issuing organisationONS
Data supplierLeidos Innovations
RehearsalSeptember – December 2019.
Rehearsal AreasCarlisle, Ceredigion, Hackney, Tower Hamlets
Census formsHousehold[1][2] and others

Changes from 2011 census change

The general style of the questionnaire is similar to that of the 2011 census, although there are some new questions for 2021:

  • A question asking if people have served in the armed forces.[3]
  • Voluntary question for 16 and over about sexual orientation.[3]
  • Voluntary question for 16 and over about whether people feel they are the sex which was on their birth certificate; this is in addition to the compulsory question about their sex.[4]

Most of it was done online, the first time this has happened.[5]

Amended Legislation change

In Scotland, the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2019 makes provisions for voluntary questions about transgender status and sexual orientation to be asked.[6] The Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Act 2019 makes the same provision for England and Wales. The sexual orientation question will also be asked in Northern Ireland.[7][8]

On 17 March 2021, the ONS withdrew from the High Court proceedings, conceding that "what is your sex" refers to sex as recognised by the law, and not gender identity.[9]

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Household Questionnaire - England" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-03-21. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Household Questionnaire -Wales" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-03-21. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Barton, Cassie (13 February 2021). "Preparing for the 2021 census (England and Wales)". Archived from the original on 7 February 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Barton, Cassie. "Preparing for the 2021 census (England and Wales)" (PDF). Parliament Research. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2021-08-03.
  5. "About the census - Census 2021". About the census - Census 2021. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
  6. Brooks, Libby (13 June 2019). "Holyrood backs new census questions on transgender identity". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  7. Cooley, Laurence (2020). "Sexual orientation and the 2021 UK census" (PDF). European Journal of Politics and Gender. 3 (3): 445–447. doi:10.1332/251510820X15845548424385. ISSN 2515-1088. S2CID 216328507. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-05-11. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  8. Guyan, Kevin (2021). "Constructing a queer population? Asking about sexual orientation in Scotland's 2022 census". Journal of Gender Studies: 1–11. doi:10.1080/09589236.2020.1866513. ISSN 0958-9236.
  9. Lyons, Izzy (17 March 2021). "ONS backs down on 'what is your sex?' Census legal dispute". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 19 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.