Myths about the upcoming Census of 2021 debunked: 11 assumptions you might have made.
Wrong Every household is required by law to participate in the census, and while Census Day - 21 March 2021 - has passed, it is not too late to complete a questionnaire. So far, the response to Census 2021 has been excellent, but everyone must respond as soon as possible to avoid a fine.
Students are not counted in the census.
Students are critical and do matter. All students must be counted, and even if they were not present on census day, they must fill out a form for their usual term-time address. If they are currently residing at their current address, they must be included in the census for that household as well. We want to count you if you are an international student who is not currently in England or Wales but would normally be. All universities and colleges have information on how to obtain a census form. Alternatively, visit www.census.gov.uk (opens in a new tab) and request an access code.
You only count yourself at the residence where you were on Census Day.
Everyone is required to file a return at their usual address, even if they were not present on Census Day, because local services are still required at both addresses. If the pandemic has caused you to relocate, for example, if you moved from a city to a rural or vacation home prior to lockdown restrictions, or if you haven't visited your city commuter flat because of lockdown restrictions, You must still fill out a census form at both addresses. To get an access code for your second address, go to www.census.gov.uk (opens in a new tab).
A return for an empty house is not required.
It is critical that we have a census return for all houses, even if no one usually lives there - for example, holiday homes and caravans - because it is both a housing and a population census. Local governments must be aware of all houses in their jurisdiction in order to plan services and determine how many new homes are required. If you own an empty house, flat, or caravan, go to www.census.gov.uk (opens in a new tab) to request an access code.
Because I am not a British citizen, I am not required to be counted.
On Census Day, March 21, everyone in England and Wales must be counted.
My information will be distributed.
That is not correct. For the next 100 years, personal census data will be kept under lock and key. The statistics we publish make no attempt to identify individuals or their responses. In fact, no one who makes decisions about you will be able to see your personal information. It cannot be used to influence benefit claims, residency applications, immigration status, or taxes, nor can it be used by landlords or any other private organization.
The census is meaningless. It doesn't help me.
The census benefits everyone by underpinning all of the services on which we rely. It provides information on our living arrangements, health, education, and jobs, and the data it generates will help inform policy at the local and national levels for many years to come. Census data is used to decide where to build new supermarkets, what food to put on the shelves, and how many parent and toddler spaces to put in the parking lot, among other things.
You can't do the census if you can't get online.
This is the first time we've asked everyone to respond online if they can, and we've gotten a fantastic response. If you know someone who lacks the skills or confidence to do it online, assistance is available. We have census support centres across England and Wales that provide telephone and face-to-face assistance. To find a centre near you, go to www.census.gov.uk/help/find-a-census-support-centre (opens in a new tab). You can also contact our customer service department. For assistance or to order a paper questionnaire, call 0800 141 2021 in England or 0800 169 2021 in Wales.
Personal information will be requested by census takers.
If a householder requests a new online code, a field officer will only ask for their name and phone number. If a paper questionnaire is requested, they will also request the householder's name.
They will never, however, request personal documents such as passports or birth certificates. Field officers will never demand payment and will never enter your home.
Census officers will fine you right on the spot.
Do not be duped. On the doorstep, Census field officers will never request payment. Field officers' role is to assist and encourage those who have not yet completed their census questionnaire online or on paper after Census Day, and to direct them to the necessary support services. They will operate in the same manner as a postal or food delivery visit. They also carry identification to demonstrate that they are genuinely working on the census.
We will continue to encourage people to participate in the census, but if a household refuses to fill out a questionnaire, we will eventually conduct an interview under caution, which could result in a court summons, a fine of up to £1,000, and a criminal record.
I have to pay a fine online because I made a mistake on my census.
Do not be duped. For a fine to be imposed for non-completion of the census, your case must be heard in court. You will never be fined via text message, social media, or email. Our Cyber Intelligence team is searching the internet for phishing sites and removing them. If you come across a suspicious website or receive text messages with links to websites asking for money in connection with the census, do not interact with them. Contact the Census 2021 contact center at 0800 141 2021 in England and 0800 169 2021 in Wales.
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