Ceredigion is one of four regions in England and Wales chosen by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to take part in the Census Rehearsal on Sunday, 13 October 2019.
For the first time ever, the 2021 Census is designed to be answered primarily online. Because of this, this year’s rehearsal is particularly important as it gives the ONS the chance to test out their brand new systems and processes to make sure that everything works as it should.
Later this year, everyone who lives in Ceredigion will be asked, by the ONS, by the ONS, to complete a questionnaire about the people in their household as on 13 October 2019. The rehearsal will be ‘digital first’, like the 2021 Census. Help will be available for people who find completing the online form difficult, and paper forms will be supplied to those people who really need them.
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is the Leader of Ceredigion County Council. She said, “The information gathered during a census is very important to all of us because it helps us to understand our population and guides our planning for the whole range of public services, such as the number of school places needed and the provision of housing, hospital and GP services and social care in local areas. The information collected is the basis of the Council's level of financial allocation for the next 10 years. It is therefore vital that we gather up-to-date information about our population.”
“A sample of primary schools across Ceredigion who have already been contacted by the ONS are being provided with educational resource packs to inform children about the Census Rehearsal. In 2021, secondary schools in Ceredigion will also be provided with information packs but they won’t be asked to take part in the rehearsal process this year.”
“The Census Rehearsal should not be mixed up with the annual Electoral Registration canvass which is currently being carried out by Ceredigion County Council. During the annual canvass, each household receives a Household Enquiry form which is used to check who is living at an address and confirms who is currently on the Electoral Register – You need to be on the electoral register to vote in elections and referendums.”
Ceredigion was chosen for the rehearsal because it has a high proportion of Welsh speakers and includes a large rural area with varying internet coverage. Tower Hamlets and Hackney in London and Carlisle in Cumbria will also be taking part.
Director of ONS Census Operations, Pete Benton, said, “As the Census only takes place every ten years, it is important we hold an operational rehearsal to ensure that all our processes run smoothly. The people who take part will all be helping to ensure the overall success of the 2021 Census.”
More information is available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/2019rehearsal