Stockton's Infinity Bridge

Consultation on ONS Proposals for Census 2021

01 September 2015

Having responded to a previous ONS consultation on the issue of the 2021 Census the Association welcomed the opportunity to comment further on their latest proposals for it.

The ONS are developing proposals to make the 2021 census a one-off online process with their initial views on the content for this set out in the consultation on the basis that the government’s longer term ambition is to scrap the census in favour of an increased use of administrative datasets. In line with the Association’s previous response we re-iterated the view that the census should continue and urged the ONS to press the government to review its ambition for delivering the census after 2021. Historically the census has provided a very useful and rich source of data that generally has not been available from any other source and it remains the most comprehensive statistical reflection of modern life. Its withdrawal will not only mean the loss of this important source but will also affect local authorities’ ability to track changes over time and build an understanding of the impact of their policies and interventions.

While accepting there has been improvement in some of administrative datasets the concern remains that these cannot be a robust alternative to the census.

The full response can be accessed here: