A population census is a count of all the people and all the households in the country.
Everyone is asked the same questions on the same day, so the census is the most complete count of the population we can get.
In Britain, censuses have been held every 10 years since 1801. The latest census was held on 27 March 2011 and the next census is scheduled to take place in March 2021.
Why do we hold a census?
The population’s characteristics are always changing. A census collects and shares facts about the make up of societies.
The census information will help to ensure that local services that people rely on, such as transport, housing, schools and hospitals can be provided where they are needed.
Census population and household estimates help the government, councils, businesses and community organisations identify community needs, plan future service provision and allow central government to allocate funding accordingly.