How Norfolk is gearing up for Census 2021

Kerry Skelding, census engagement manager for south east Norfolk.

Kerry Skelding, census engagement manager for south east Norfolk. - Credit: Kerry Skelding

Teams are gearing up to help Norfolk complete the 2021 census, as they prepare for it to be run online for the first time.

All adults and households across England and Wales have to complete the once-in-a-decade survey on March 21.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) questionnaire, which started in 1801, is being run predominantly online for the first time and people can apply for jobs to support respondents in answering the legal document.

It is estimated that there are around one million people living in Norfolk.

Kerry Skelding, one of two census engagement managers for the county, said: "Census 2021 will be crucial in giving us a snapshot of our life.

"It reflects how diverse our ethnic makeup is, how healthy we are and our living arrangements. The answers will help affect local and national decisions for years to come. It is really important we continue with the census."

She said it would create new jobs in the area, including field officers to help people fill out the questionnaire - all of which will be done in a Covid-secure way.

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"Local people are perfect for these jobs because they know their area. We are proud of Norfolk," Ms Skelding added.

Census support centres will also be set up.

The census engagement manager, from Norwich, whose job is to link up communities with local authorities, was passionate about Norfolk being "fit for the future".

For the first time, respondents will be able to answer questions on sexual and gender identity and whether they have served in the armed forces.

The census can also help future generations researching family history.

ONS deputy national statistician, Iain Bell, said: "A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so."

Households will receive a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on computers, phones or tablets from early March.

People can request a paper copy though and in March and April reminders will be sent out to complete the questionnaire.


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