Every ten years The Office for National Statistics (ONS) carries out a census to identify information about of the population overall and specific details of the size and make-up of local neighbourhoods.

This year the census will take place on 27 March 2011. ONS will be sending out questionnaires for around 25 million households to complete, asking about work, health, national identity, citizenship, ethnic background, education, second homes, language, marital status and so on. The answers will be turned into statistics used to build a picture of the whole country.

Census population statistics are important in understanding local demand for services like schools, policing and healthcare and making sure all communities get the services they need where they live.

The personal information shared at every census is kept confidential for 100 years. After that, it’s there for the public to explore and find out more about the life and times of their ancestors.

As well as vital information about the current population census records provive invaluable material for genealogists and family historians – the census website has some interesting stories about people tracing their ancestors which you can view online through the 2011 Census Family History Facebook group and a dedicated family history section on the census website.

OK so what will you need to do?
A form will be delivered to your home – and you simply need to fill it in. Just answer a few questions about yourself and the people who share your household with you on census day, 27 March 2011.

Whatever you tell the census will be in strictest confidence and will only be used to produce statistics. ONS will not share your personal information with any other government department or organisation.

You’ll be able to do it online. Or by post. But you must do it. If you need help and advice, you will be able to find everything you need online and on the census helpline from 4 March 2011.

For more information, visit www.census.gov.uk

Opportunities to Work for the Census
Up to 35,000 staff are being recruited from local communities across the country for a variety of 2011 Census posts including census coordinators, census collectors and special enumerators. If you’re interested in working for the 2011 Census field team, you can apply online at www.censusjobs.co.uk.

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