Households across Luton will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021. The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941 due to the war. In 1801 the population was recorded at 9 million and in the last census (2011) the population was recorded at 63.2million.

Everyone has to take part in the census including famous residences such as Buckingham Palace or
10 Downing Street who will list any staff working there on the night alongside the entries for the royal
family or prime minister.

By collecting information from every household a unique and detailed snapshot is taken of modern
life, documenting the lifestyle and characteristics of the population.

The 2021 census will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter in early
March with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers,
phones or tablets. There will be an option to request a paper questionnaire should you need one.

A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and
funding in the places where they are most needed

The Census gives policy and decision makers the information needed for targeting public monies

With Census data, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has been able to identify pockets of deprivation and poverty to facilitate targeted policy interventions. The 2011 Census also highlighted for us the younger age profile of the Muslim population and the need for boosting services for young persons and increasing their involvement in decision-making within community bodies.

Census data on Muslim populations in hospital catchments provided the MCB with the evidence base to call for chaplaincy training and appointment of chaplains to serve the spiritual needs of patients and their families. We have also used the ONS’s population projections in a study on elderly care needs.

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March. Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. These provide a wealth of information for genealogists, historians and family tree enthusiasts.

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