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From today 840,000 households throughout Northern Ireland will be receiving their 2021 Census documentation in the post and for the first time ever it can be completed online.

The 2021 Census will help build a picture of where you live that’ll be used to decide how vital services are planned and funded. These include things like schools, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and libraries. Charities and local services need census data too.

Louise Clarke and Dr David Marshall from NISRA launching Census 2021.
Louise Clarke and Dr David Marshall from NISRA launching Census 2021.

Census Day is 21 March and for the first time, the Census will be predominantly online and it is expected that the majority of householders will choose to complete their return digitally though paper forms will still be available for anyone that needs one.

For the first time the Census be asking people aged 16 years and over a question on sexual orientation. There will also be a new question on renewable energy systems in the household section.

Encouraging everyone to participate, Registrar General Siobhan Carey said: “It is important that everyone takes part in the Census, which provides an accurate picture of the people of Northern Ireland.  The Census form is very easy to complete, taking less than 20 minutes per household and the results will help determine funding and services for the next ten years."

In the next few days all households will receive their invitation to take part in the post. This will have an access code to enable the public to complete their census return online at CENSUS.GOV.UK/NI You don’t have to wait until 21st March, once you receive your Census pack through the post, simply go to the Census website to complete the information for your household. people are strongly encouraged to complete their Census online but paper forms are still available for those that need one. Census teams will be available to advise anyone who needs additional support.

Emphasising the value of the Census, Siobhan added: “Just like managing our own households, only if you know the characteristics of the population can you make good decisions about the allocation of funds and services. The information gathered in the Census will be used by Government to help plan provision for health, education, transport and so much more.”

There is a range of accessibility and language support also available on the Census website. This includes an easy read information leaflet, information videos in British and Irish Sign Language with voiceover and subtitles and details on how to order a large print questionnaire or Braille guidance booklet.  We have information leaflets and translation booklets in 17 languages and a Language Line for additional language support.

Everyone is required by law to complete the Census.  For more information or if you haven't received your Census pack by 10 March visit the website or call the Census contact centre on 0800 328 2021.

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