What the census is
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. The census is unique. There’s simply nothing else that gives so much detail about us and the society we live in.
By taking part, you’ll be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.
Past, present and future
The first census was in 1801 and the most recent in 2011. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and the next one will happen on Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill the form about before then as long as it contains the information that would be correct for 21 March.
The personal information is kept confidential for 100 years following the Census.
Solihull Libraries members can view the information from the 1841-1911 Censuses online via Ancestry free of charge (while under COVID restrictions from home). See https://www.solihull.gov.uk/Libraries/virtual-reference-library for details.
The 1921 Census is planned to be available in 2022.
Filling in the Census
Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that people will be encouraged to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet, and households are being encouraged to get help from family and friends to complete their census.
Households will receive a letter from the Office for National Statistics in February 2021 containing an access code which they can use online.
Individuals within a household who prefer to complete their own census form without being part of a household form can request an individual code.
In both cases paper forms can be requested if you want.
Help with the Census
Solihull Libraries are offering assistance with the Census from March 1st to May 4th.
Ring 0121 704 6005 and leave a message or email 2021Census@solihull.gov.uk and a member of staff will contact you within one working day. (Solihull residents only)
The assistance will be:
- Answering queries about the questions in the census form
- Filling in the form for you with you on the phone supplying the information. All staff have signed a confidentiality agreement and your information will not be shared with anyone else.
- Supplying a new access code
- Referring you to other support information on how to fill in the form or requesting a paper form.
To help us, click here for details of what information we would need to help you fill in the Census form.
The Office for National Statistics will also have an online help area on their website and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message. This will include information in other languages.
Armed Forces question
This Census will include for the first time a question asking if any resident served in the armed forces as a regular or reservist. The data generated from the Census will be used by local & national government and charity organisations including the Royal British Legion, to ensure support & services are focused more effectively. It will also enable true visibility of the numbers within the veteran community as currently only estimates are used.
Our armed forces FAQ can help you answer the census.
Find out more about Solihull’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant at https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/Armed-forces-covenant
Census information for Solihull
Statistics from the 2011 Census are available at https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-Solihull/Census-2011 with more information at https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-Solihull/About-Solihull
You can find information on the 2021 Census and COVID-19 here.