Census 2021: Here is when you have to complete the survey by and what happens if you don't

The deadline for completing the 2021 census is approaching fast.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 3:32 pm
A woman completing the Census form. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Taking place once every decade, it is a survey of the population used by the government to get a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

The answers submitted to the census will help ‘organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare’, according to the website.

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Everyone in England and Wales must complete the census, or be included in a completed one.

If you don’t you could face legal consequences.

Here is what you need to know:

When is the deadline to complete the census?

Census Day is today (March 21).

This is the deadline for completing the survey.

What if I don’t do the census?

If you do not fill in the census, a census officer will contact you and encourage you to complete it. They will help you access any support you need to fill in your form.

If you still don't return or submit a completed census, you will be committing a crime and you will be contacted by the non-compliance team.

Is there any punishment for not completing the census?

If you don’t do the census, you could be prosecuted and face a potential fine of up to £1,000 plus court costs.

Will I get a criminal record if I don’t complete the census?

On the website it says: ‘You will get a criminal record if you’re prosecuted for not completing the census and found guilty.’

The census can be completed here online via the government website.

When is the next census?

The next census will be in 2031.

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