ONS gears up for once-in-a-decade challenge with 2021 census

Outreach work and threat of fines deployed to encourage people in England and Wales to take part

Amid endless flyers from food delivery companies dropping through the letterbox, households in England and Wales will soon receive a postcard from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) giving notice of the 2021 census.

It will be followed by a letter advising that every household must complete a detailed questionnaire about themselves and their co-residents on 21 March. The letter will contain a unique code enabling recipients to complete the census forms online, although paper forms will be available on request.

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