Census 2021 - Information and help

Closes 24 May 2021

Opened 1 Mar 2021


The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and provides a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the Census is the largest collection of information on the general population that exists. The Census aims to collect information from every UK resident on topics such as age, employment, ethnicity, health, and lots more besides.

Information from the Census is used to help decide how services are planned and funded in the city-region. This could include things like doctors’ surgeries, schools, housing or new bus routes.

The census is unique. There’s simply nothing else that gives so much detail about us and the society we live in. It provides an evidence base to make sounds decisions, and by taking part, you’ll be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.

Census Day takes place on Sunday 21 March 2021. You can complete the Census as soon as you receive your pack – you don’t have to wait until the 21 March.

How to take part

For the first time, we will be able to complete the Census online, and households across Greater Manchester will shortly receive information through their letterbox about how to do this.

But we want to make sure everyone is able to respond in a way they feel comfortable, so there is help for those who are unable, or would prefer not to complete it online.

Paper questionnaires are available for anyone who wants one and they can be requested by:

You can also request a paper version in large print, Braille and other languages.

Census staff are also available to carry out the Census over the phone, and using translators:

  • Appointments can be booked by calling the free phone number 0800 141 2021
  • Translators can be booked by calling the free phone number 0800 587 2021
  • Relay UK users dial 18001 followed by the phone number you need

Additional support and information

  • Online: visit the ONS website – About the Census
  • Virtual completion events: hosted by ONS regularly throughout March and April; registration via Eventbrite 
  • By phone: call the free phone support centre 0800 141 2021
  • In person: Census Support Centres have been set up in local community venues where staff will be able to help answer general census queries, help you to fill in your online census or paper form, and discuss other ways to support you. All the centres are operating in a Covid-safe way. Find out where your nearest centre is located.


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