Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd
This Sunday marks five weeks until Census day. The 2021 Census is scheduled to take place on Sunday 21 March in Wales. This follows the laying of The Census (Wales) Regulations 2020 in the Senedd in May 2020.
The UK Statistics Authority and its executive office, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are responsible for carrying out the census in England and Wales. Welsh Government officials work closely with the ONS on all aspects of the census in Wales.
Data from the census is used to make decisions that affect everyone in the country. High quality data about the population informs policymaking, supports resource allocation and the planning of public services and helps us understand the lives of different groups in society, supporting our work to become a more equal Wales. Census data are widely used by businesses, local authorities, health authorities, and others. In Wales, the Well-being of Future Generations Act has increased the need for high quality data to support our understanding of well-being.
The 2021 Census will be a digital-first census. This means that people will be encouraged to respond online if they can on their mobile phones, laptops, PCs or tablets. Help will be available for those who need assistance, and members of the public who prefer to complete a paper form will be able to do so.
The Welsh Government is working with the ONS to ensure the safety of the public and field staff during the 2021 Census, so that everyone can be safely counted. The ONS is continuing to monitor the pandemic and adjust their plans in line with the latest Welsh Government and UK Government guidelines.
Data from the 2011 Census has played an essential role in understanding how the coronavirus pandemic has affected people in different ways. It is vital that we have fresh, granular information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure that the services that everyone uses meet the needs of our changing society.
Everyone in Wales will be able to take part in the Census in Welsh or in English. We have worked hard to make sure that the 2021 Census is as inclusive as possible for everyone in Wales. It is vital that we do all that we can to support a successful and safe census here in Wales.