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Census 2021

Census day is 21 March 2021 in England and Wales. 

This is when households across Cornwall will be asked to take part in Census 2021. 

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Census 2021 is carried out by the Office for National Statistics. It will be run mostly online, and households will receive letters in March with online codes explaining how they can take part. You will be able to request a paper questionnaire or language support if needed. 

It should take about 10 minutes per person to complete. 

The latest information on the 2021 Census can be found at:

If you need help completing your Census form when it arrives in March 2021 or have not received a Census form by 21 March 2021 then you can:

The census is a survey that takes place every 10 years. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

The survey gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.

The information you give helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing, or cycle routes.

Yes, as with the Census in 2011 you are able to use the write-in option on a number of questions to identify as Cornish

In 2011, when asked their national identity 83,499 people across England and Wales identified themselves as Cornish - 73,220 of those lived in Cornwall.   

There are three ways you can identify yourself as Cornish on the 2021 Census form.

  • Question 14 (Nationality)
  • Questions 15 (ethnicity)
  • Question 18 (language)

This is done by selecting the ‘Other’ box and writing or typing in ‘Cornish’.

There is information contained within the guidance help function of the online form alongside Q14 Nationality.

This specifically mentions Cornish. There will not be prompts for questions 15 and 18 on the online form but you can still complete as per the instructions above.

A poster showing ways you can complete as Cornish can be downloaded here.

If you have family or neighbours who do not have internet access or skills, please do your bit by letting them know about the forthcoming census and finding out if they need help to complete it. Also, help us spread the message that there is an option to complete as Cornish.

No one can identify you in the published census statistics. Your census record is kept confidential for 100 years and only then can future generations see it. Find more information about how your data is kept safe.

The Office for National Statistics will start to publish the initial outputs from the Census in Spring 2022.

More detailed outputs will then be released by ONS in the period from Spring 2022 to Spring 2023.