The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is consulting on the census and the future provision of population statistics in England and Wales.
The 2011 Census successfully provided population statistics that will be used for the next decade by planners, policy makers and researchers across the public and private sectors. Our population is changing rapidly, and the need to understand these changes will continue. The Office for National Statistics' Beyond 2011 programme is currently reviewing these needs, and how they might best be met in the future.
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.
Our 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.
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.
Read the consultation document and take part in the consultation (175.5 Kb Pdf)
Beyond 2011 Programme
Office for National Statistics