Newsnight: Expert dismisses ONS statistics for coronavirus
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Census 2021 has begun, with millions of people now receiving their letters in the post. The form, competed either physically or online, gives local authorities the information they need to improve services under their control. There isn’t much time left before the form’s completion date, after which people will have to wait a long time for another shot.
What is the census?
The census asks questions about households in the UK’s home nations.
Each home in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Scotland will participate in 2022) will receive a form to complete.
One adult will provide information about themselves and anyone living with them.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducts the Census in England and receives the answers.
The ONS only uses information for “statistical purposes”, and it doesn’t go to the Government.
Only approved staff may see the information, which is “for statistical purposes only”.
The ONS keeps decades worth of census information on hand, and it can help inform choices made by local governments.
Census organisers said the following groups do not receive the information they collect:
- Anyone who decides what services people get or makes similar decisions
- People making decisions about immigration status or residency applications
- People making decisions about individual services
- Any Test and Trace workers or those enforcing Covid restrictions
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How often do you need to complete the census?
Census 2021 will be many British residents’ first time completing the form.
The document analyses changes in local populations over the years and started in the 19th century.
The first census was in 1801 and has taken place every decade since.
The last chance people had to fill in a form was in 2011.
There are some occasions when nations can’t roll out the census.
None of the home nations held the census in 1941 due to World War Two, and Ireland skipped it in 1921.
Scotland has opted to hold the census in 2022 due to COVID-19.
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