We’ve all had local census 2021 letters come through our postbox this week, have you? This is one we shouldn’t ignore. Not only is it a legal requirement to fill in but it’s also our best way of getting the investment our local community needs and deserves.
Here’s everything you need to know about Census 2021, the household survey that happens once every ten years and why it is so important, particularly in Tower Hamlets.
The census is a national survey, carried out by the Office of National Statistics, to help them obtain the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.
As this year’s census falls during a pandemic, everyone will be sent a letter in the post with a unique code for each household. This will be used in order to get the resident onto the website, allowing them to start the questions.
The survey asks questions about you, your household and your home. In doing so, it helps to build a detailed snapshot of society. Information from the census helps the government and local authorities to plan and fund local services, such as education, doctors’ surgeries and roads.
In this way, the census is a key tool in assessing the needs of local communities. For instance, if a large number of children in an area without a playground, evidence from the census can guide councils into building play areas.
It’s essentially a big head count the whole country is involved in. However, don’t be put off by the box-ticking – some people can find this unnerving – your personal information is confidential and cannot be shared directly with the job centre, schools or doctors.
Everyone has until 21 March to fill in the online forms. After that, later on this month and in early April, census officials will come to the households who have not answered the questions online and encourage them to give details.
Census impact in Tower Hamlets
Tower Hamlets is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the country, as well as being amongst the most impoverished.
This is why it is even more important than ever for us as residents to take the opportunity and fill in the online forms. The more people do this, the more accurately the government can assess the makeup of the area and will subsequently be better placed to put changes into action.
2011’s census proved to be a large turnout for Tower Hamlets, with our borough achieving a response rate of 90.7%, 18th highest in London, higher than neighbouring boroughs of Newham and Hackney (both 86.4%).
We also had the highest online return in the country with 29.3%, ranked as number one out of 348 local authorities nationally.
So, in these next few weeks, grasp this chance to have your voice heard in a way that general and local elections don’t heed. Fill out the form, it only takes a few minutes and will go some way to ensuring our community gets the funding and support they need and deserve.
If you enjoyed reading this, you may be interested in our article on Tower Hamlets council’s regeneration project