After each census, ONS reviews the future needs for information about the population and housing in England and Wales, and how these needs might be met.
Improvements in technology and in government data sources offer opportunities to either modernise the existing census process, or to develop an alternative census method that reuses existing data already held within government.
The ONS' research has resulted in two approaches for taking the census in future:
- a census once a decade, like that conducted in 2011, but primarily online
- a census using existing government data and compulsory annual surveys.
ONS believe that both approaches would provide annual statistics about the size of the population, nationally and for local authorities. A census using existing data and surveys would provide more statistics about the characteristics of the population every year. An online census would provide more detailed statistics once a decade.
The consultation document describes these approaches, their strengths and weaknesses and the different types of information they could provide:
No decision has yet been made, and we welcome your views. Please respond using the online questionnaire:
Queries relating to tables or the census in general should be addressed to: email@example.com.
Queries relating to boundaries/geography should be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org