Residents across Sunderland will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.


The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.


Here’s a guide to Census 2021, including the answers to all your questions and some incredibly intriguing facts about the city too!

Featured image: Martin Burdon


In the last census ten years ago 275,506 people lived in Sunderland, including 17,362 students and 102,844 people were married or in a registered same-sex civil partnership.

Census 2021 is the first survey to be run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations.


The last time a census was taken in Sunderland…


At the time of the last census in Sunderland back in 2011…

  • 275,506 people lived in Sunderland, including 17,362 students.


  • 102,844 people were married or in a registered same-sex civil partnership.


  • There were 185 households with 8 or more people.


  • 12.5% of people travelled to work on a bus, minibus or coach while 9.3% went on foot.


  • There were 1,618 metalworking production and maintenance fitters, 88 ship and hovercraft officers, as well as 42 boat, ship builders and repairers.


Why is taking part important to the city?

























The Office for National Statistics Census Engagement Manager for South Tyneside and Sunderland is Stephen Woolston.

He said: “Having a successful Census 21 ensures that everyone from central and local government to the NHS and charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed. 

“This could mean doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. 

These are the reasons why it is so important that everyone takes part and why we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, or with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”


Your Census 2021 questions answered…


What is the census?

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that 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 new bus routes.

It asks questions about you and your household to build a picture of all of us. It looks at who we are and how we live. 

There’s no other survey that gives as much information about our society and future needs.


When is it happening?

Census day falls on March 21. However, households will receive a letter in the post in early March, giving them details of how to take part in the mandatory survey. 

They will also receive a unique access code, inviting them to complete the survey online, although paper questionnaires are available on request.


Why should I take part?

The census helps us understand what our society needs now and what it will likely need in the future. 

The information it collects helps with decisions on the planning and funding of services in your area. 

This could include schools, doctors’ surgeries, emergency services or even local support groups.

Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.


How long will it take?

The census will take around 10 minutes per person to complete. It’s easy to complete and can be done on any device, including a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.


Please visit for more information, and any other questions you may have about the census.



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