Households across Barnsley will be asked to participate in Census 2021 on 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.
Information from the census is also important in helping many other people and organisations do their work.
Charities and voluntary organisations often use it as evidence to get funding. It helps businesses understand their customers and decide where to open new shops.
Those doing research, like university students and people looking into their family history, also use census data. It provides important information on population diversity, allowing organisations to know whether they are meeting their responsibilities and triggering action where necessary.
Census 2021 will be the first 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. Paper copies are available upon request.
Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at ONS, said: “The census provides a unique snapshot of our communities and benefits everyone.
“Based on the information you give, it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs and dentist’s services.
“No-one should miss out. Everyone can complete one online with a new search-as-you-type ability and paper forms for those who need them.”
Councillor Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Core Services, added: “As a once-in-a-decade event, the census is vital to the council. The information it provides helps us to understand our borough, the people who live in the borough and the needs of the borough.
“I would encourage all residents to complete the census and be a part of history.”
Census day will be on Sunday 21 March, but households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can participate.
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 and 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, kept safe for future generations.
For more information and advice on answering the questions, visit census.gov.uk.