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Census 2021 is here!

Milton Keynes Council is working with The Office for National Statistics – which runs Census 2021 – to deliver a successful census.

The guide below will explain why it is important that all residents complete the census and also the help available.

What is the census?

The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives us a detailed picture of all the people and households in England and Wales. All kinds of organisations, from Milton Keynes Council to charities, use the information to help provide the services we all need, including transport, education and healthcare.

When is the census and when should I fill it in?

Census day is Sunday March 21st. During the first two weeks of March every household will receive a pack from the Office for National Statistics containing a unique code to complete the census online.

You can do the census as soon as you get your access code in the post. Your answers should be about the people who will be in your household on 21st March – even if you’re filling it in before then. It will take approximately 10 minutes for each person who lives there.

Do I have to take part?

If you live in England and Wales, you must take part in the census by law. If you don't complete your census questionnaire you could face prosecution, a fine (up to £1000) and a criminal record.

Will anyone come to my home to ask me about the census?

If you have not completed the census by March 21st then census field officers will visit your home to understand what help you may need. They will never come in your house, will stand away from your door, will wear PPE and will always have ID.

Will the government use the information I share to identify me, affect my benefits or immigration status?

No. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is independent from government and Milton Keynes Council. Anything you put in your census response is kept anonymous for 100 years.

What if I cannot fill in my census questionnaire online?

We know there are some people who will find this challenging. That’s why there is help with a wide range of support services. The census team will make it easy for you, whatever your needs. Services include:

help for anyone over the phone - call 0800 141 2021

online information and web chat at

online guidance and support in many languages or by calling the language helpline on 0800 587 2021

a paper version of the questionnaire, if you prefer, can be ordered online or by calling 0800 141 2021

accessible census guidance, for example, in braille, large print and easy-read

In Milton Keynes we also have a Census Support Centre being run by Great Linford Parish Council.

Currently, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are only available to assist by telephone, but as restrictions change you should be able to visit them too. Anyone can call or email to make an appointment with them and they will talk you through the form as you complete it, whether you wish to do it online or you have a paper version.

To book an appointment call 01908 606613 or email

Current information about opening times and services is available here.

Can I help friends and family fill in the census?

If a friend or family member needs support, help them if you can. You can also call the local Census Support Centre or national helpline to ask for help for yourself, or for someone else.

Up-to-date information about Census 2021 in Milton Keynes can be found here:

Twitter: @Census_MK



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