The questionnaire is carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) every 10 years and gives the most accurate snapshot of all the households in England and Wales on a set day (Sunday 21st March 2021).
It is an essential tool in making sure the right services are in the right area when making decisions for future communities. The public sector, such as local councils, NHS trusts and transport providers, use the data to plan hospital services, schools and transport links, for example.
Local organisations and charities also use the information provided in the census to help plan where they need to be based, where to focus help and as evidence for funding bids.
Ursula Dowd, Census 2021 engagement manager for the Isle of Wight, said:
“It’s really important, this year more than ever, to fill in your form – it will also help show how, or if, current events such as COVID-19 and Brexit have changed our Island communities and help organisations to plan future services around areas most affected. The census is literally about us all.
“The information provided makes sure everyone from local government to businesses and charities can see where to put services and funding where they are needed most. It’s really important we all take part and we have made it really easy to fill out online with any device but if you are unable to, you can request a paper copy and support is available to help you with this.”
The census must be completed by law, although some questions are voluntary. You can fill it in before 21st March, if you know that your circumstances will still be the same.
First results will be available within 12 months although your answers are protected by law and will be kept confidential. The full details are not released for 100 years.
People without access to the internet can request a paper version by calling the national helpline on 0800 141 2021. Formats are also available in large print and braille.
Locally, People Matter Isle of Wight is offering a local census support service and can help with ordering a paper copy of the questionnaire, completing your census over the phone or, by pre-booked appointment only, face-to-face support, as previously reported by Island Echo. You can call People Matter Isle of Wight on 01983 241494 between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday to Friday.