Households across Barnsley are asked to participate in Census 2021 this Sunday, 21 March.
The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, 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 ten years since 1801, except in 1941.
Understanding the nation's needs helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales.
Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online. Households should now have received a letter with a unique access code allowing them to complete the questionnaire on a computer, phone or tablet. Paper copies are available upon request; details of how to do this are in the letter.
If you have not yet received a census letter, or have lost it, you can request a new access code on the census website to allow you to complete it.
The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity.
For the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces - anyone who has served for one day is classed as a veteran.
There are also voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
If you do not feel comfortable identifying on the same form as the rest of your household, you can request an individual census questionnaire and answer separately. Your individual answers will take priority over any information submitted about you in the household census.
Any personal information provided in the Census, such as your name, address or date of birth, is protected by law. Individuals cannot be identified in published statistics, and it is a crime for anyone to share your personal information.
You must complete the census by law, and it is an offence to supply false information or not to complete the census; you could be fined up to £1,000.
Results from the census will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
Councillor Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, said: "The census is essential in helping us learn more about our local area and the people who live in Barnsley.
"I would encourage all residents to complete the census as the information we receive helps plan for services and funding across the borough."
Local support centres
We have two Census Support Centres in our borough who can assist over the phone or in person for those who can't get online or need assistance completing the census.
The first is at the ELIM Community Centre in Worsbrough and the other is at Independent Training & Education Consultants at the Business Village in Wilthorpe.
Face-to-face appointments are available but must be booked in advance; phone numbers are provided below. All Census Support Centres will follow government safety guidelines around COVID-19.
If you do not wish to have a face-to-face appointment but still need help, staff will also be able to offer remote support over the phone for people not confident online, who don't have a computer or need help completing on paper.
Help is also available on the census website: census.gov.uk/help.
Key phone numbers:
National helpline for all enquiries: 0800 141 2021
Request a paper copy of census: 0800 876 6276
If you need information in another language: 0800 587 2021.
ELIM Community Centre, Worsbrough: 01226 643 249
ITEC, Wilthorpe: 01226 107 082