RESIDENTS are being asked to take part in the 22nd census of England and Wales next month.

The census, taking place on March 21, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

The Office for National Statistics – which runs Census 2021 – is working with City of York Council to help local services to fully meet future needs.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, the council’s executive member for culture, said: “The 2021 Census is an essential process that many organisations, including government and councils, will use to better understand our whole society. York is diverse and our communities are complex and ever-changing. At the time of the last census a decade ago, York was home to more than 252 different ethnicities. The data collected through the census helps the council make sure it better understands what services and support York’s communities need.”

Julian Cole, the census engagement manager for York, Ryedale and Scarborough, said: “The census is how society better understands itself.

“The information gathered helps everyone in so many different ways. By taking part in the census, you are playing your part in shaping how we live. Incidentally, you are also helping future historians to look back at how we live now. Today’s historians and genealogists are excited about soon being able to sift through the 1921 census.”

Households will begin receiving letters with online codes in March explaining how they can complete their online census. People can also request a paper questionnaire if they’d prefer to complete the census that way.

In areas where lower online completion is expected, around 10 per cent of households will receive a traditional paper form through the post.

Census 2021 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 in 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.