Census day is Sunday 21st March 2021. The census takes place at regular intervals, currently every 10 years, since 1801. The data collected by the Office for National Statistics is used to inform national and local policy on education, social care, housing, transport and much more.

Like many other charities, TuVida also uses the data to support funding applications and influence service providers when it comes to investment in support for carers.

The census has a question about caring, which asks you to tick a box (question 24) indicating how many hours per week you spend caring. There are five options, from ‘9 hours a week or less’ to ‘50 or more hours a week’.

Image showing example census question

The unpaid care question was first introduced in the 2001 Census and was included again in 2011, enabling users to look at the increases in the carer population.

When you fill in the census, it’s really important that you take this opportunity to tell the census how much care you are providing. Imagine if you weren’t there to help the person you care for. How many hours would a care-worker need to spend doing practical tasks, giving personal care and emotional support? This should give you an idea of how many hours you spend caring per week.

The census provides the best opportunity to get hard evidence to influence policy and services at a strategic level.

Why is it important for carers to complete the census?

It is hugely important that the voices of carers are heard and that the importance of their role is understood.

The information collated from the census will help central government, local government and many other organisations understand more accurately, the needs of our communities - including carers.

How do you complete the census?

You will receive a letter with instructions on how to complete the census.

Those who can should fill out the census online (your letter will include a household access code). Alternatively you can request a paper copy on the Gov.uk website.

If you do not receive a letter, or need help filling out your census, contact 0800 141 2021.

Web banner with writing repeating the date of census day.