Since 1801, every 10 years the nation has set aside one day for the Census - a count of all people and households. It is the most complete source of information about the population that we have. The latest Census was held on Sunday 27 March 2011.
Every effort is made to include everyone, and that is why the Census is so important. It is the only survey which provides a detailed picture of the entire population, and is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same core questions everywhere, making it easy to compare different parts of the country.
The information the Census provides allows central and local Government, health authorities and many other organisations to target their resources more effectively and to plan housing, education, health and transport services for years to come.
In England and Wales, the Census is planned and carried out by the Office for National Statistics. Elsewhere in the UK, responsibility lies with the General Register Office for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Why do we have a Census?
We all use public services at various times - including schools, health services, roads and libraries. These services need to be planned, and in such a way that they keep pace with fast-changing patterns of modern life. We need accurate information on the numbers of people, where they live and what their needs are.
Every ten years the Census provides a benchmark. Uniquely, it gives us a complete picture of the nation. It counts the numbers of people living in each city, town and country area. It tells us about each area and its population, including the balance of young and old, what jobs people do, and the type of housing they live in.
Because the same questions are asked and the information is recorded in the same way throughout the UK, the Census allows us to compare different groups of people across the entire nation. The Census gives us invaluable facts about:
- Population - An accurate count of the population in each local area helps the Government to calculate the size of grants it allocates each local authority and health authority. In turn, these authorities use census information when planning services within their areas.
- Housing - Information on housing and its occupants measures inadequate accommodation and, with information about the way we live as households, indicates the need for new housing.
- Employment - The Census shows how many people work in different occupations and industries throughout the country, helping government and businesses to plan jobs and training policies and to make informed investment decisions.
- Health - Data on the age and socio-economic make up of the population, and more specifically on general health, long-term illness and carers, enables the Government to plan health and social services, and to allocate resources.
- Transport - Information collected on travel to and from work, and on the availability of cars, contributes to the understanding of pressures on transport systems and to the planning of roads and public transport.
- Ethnic Group - Data on ethnic groups help to identify the extent and nature of disadvantage in Britain and to measure the success of equal opportunities policies. The information helps central and local government to allocate resources and plan programmes to take account of the needs of minority groups.
Ward profiles are available as follows:
Information is available at below ward level and can be accessed by contacting Vicki Doyle on 01443 866391 or email to email@example.com