Council prepares for once in a decade national census

The council’s cabinet will hear how preparations for the national 2021 census are underway at its meeting next week (Cabinet, Tuesday 3 November).

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey and is due to take place in England and Wales on Sunday 21 March 2021. It is vital for local areas as it helps calculate Government grants allocated to councils.

It provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The census asks questions about people, their household and their home. The census will give us the most accurate, up to date snapshot of Southend-on-Sea and the needs of our residents.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for delivering the census in England and Wales and they want the 2021 census to be ‘digital first’ and for as many people as possible to fill their questionnaire in online in 2021. People will be able to complete it anywhere on any device. However, although online response is encouraged, everyone will have the option to complete a paper form if they wish.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “It is really important that residents take part in the census. The information it gives has the power to make a real impact on our day-to-day lives. The population count in each local area helps the Government to calculate the size of grants it allocates each council and information from the census will help the council to develop policies, plan and run services and decide how to allocate funds.

“Charities also use census data to get information about the communities they are working in and help them get funding, businesses can use it to understand their customers and academics and students can use census data to support research they are working on.

“Whilst the census is led nationally we will be working with our local communities to encourage and drive up participation and work alongside the national campaign to raise awareness as census day in March 2021 approaches.”

For more information visit www.census.gov.uk

Background:

The last census took place in 2011. The 2011 census population estimate for Southend-on-Sea was 173,600. Southend-on-Sea achieved a headline household return rate of 91 per cent in 2011. The England household return rate was 94 per cent. The ONS also produces mid-year estimates of the resident population of England and Wales every June. The estimates roll forward the population found by the previous census, one year at a time by accounting for births, deaths, international migration and internal migration. These mid-year population estimates are broken down by local authority, sex and age. The 2019 mid-year population estimate for Southend-on-Sea was 183,100.

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