Brits face £1,000 fine if they don't fill out Census 2021 survey

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
The census, a survey about all the households in England and Wales, includes questions such as who you live with, the type of property you live in and employment status. Photo: Getty Images
The census, a survey about all the households in England and Wales, includes questions such as who you live with, the type of property you live in and employment status. Photo: Getty Images

Britons are required to fill in the Census 2021 survey ideally by 21 March, otherwise they could risk being hit with a £1,000 ($1,400) fine.

The census, a survey about all the households in England and Wales, includes questions such as who you live with, the type of property you live in and employment status.

Anyone who doesn't complete the form will have a census officer get in touch with them and further failure to comply could result in a court case and the risk of £1,000 fine plus associated court costs.

As per the census website, it is an offence to supply false information or to not complete the census.

"Everyone must complete the census and provide accurate information. Your answers to the census questions will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare," the website explained.

However, some questions are labelled as voluntary and it is not an offence to skip these.

According to Money Saving Expert, Brits should technically complete the form on 21 March, though this can be done earlier or later.

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"That's because this is the day being used as a snapshot of life in 2021. If you can't complete the form on the day itself, do so as soon as you can afterwards but fill it in based on your circumstances on 21 March. You can complete forms online until early May. You can technically fill in the form before 21 March if your circumstances won't change, but contact the ONS [Office for National Statistics]... if you do so and anything subsequently changes before Census Day," the article stated.

It also said fines are a last resort. In England and Wales, four people received the maximum £1,000 fine for non-compliance at the last census in 2011, while 270 people were fined an average of £218.

To complete the census online, Brits will need a 16‑character access code, which they should have received in the mail, addressed to 'individual resident.'

They can request a new access code to start a new census on the website, if they have lost it or not received it. This can be sent by text or post.

Campaigners are keen to highlight that people can request an individual access code, allowing them to answer separately from their household.

This confidential process will override any other census details given on their behalf, and allow people who are not open about their identity with those they live with to answer accurately.

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