Over the last few months, you may have seen flyers, adverts and social media posts about the upcoming census. The census is a once-in-a-decade survey which everyone in the UK has to complete. 

Why do I have to complete the census?

The information collected in the census helps local councils, the UK government and health authorities to determine how public services are funded over the next 10 years. This includes funding for school places, emergency services, public transport and more. The census also helps charities, who can use its data to apply for funding, and businesses to understand their customers.

By completing the census, you can build an accurate picture of Manchester and help public services we all need to live, work and thrive get the funding they need to work best for everyone.

It's also important to remember that completing the census is a legal requirement and failing to do so could result in a fine of up to £1000.


I haven't done the census before - what can I expect?

If this is your first time completing the census, you may be wondering what to expect. The aim of the census is to get a full picture of who lives in Manchester - and the rest of the UK - and understand what our needs are.

You will be asked questions about:

  • Your identity: including your date of birth, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion.
  • Your living situation: including whether you rent or own your home, who you live with, and what kind of building you live in.
  • Your education: including whether you have completed GCSEs, NVQs, or A Levels, or attended University.
  • Your work situation: including whether you are employed, self-employed, or have been furloughed.
  • Your health: including whether you have long-term condition and how it affects your day-to-day life.

You must answer these questions for everyone who lives in your household and as truthfully as you can. Some questions in the census will be labelled as optional; you can leave these blank if you would prefer.

All the answers you provide in the census are confidential; when the results of the census are published, they will not include any information that can identify you personally. You can read more about your information is protected here.


How do I complete the census?

This is the first year in which the census is being run mainly online. Every household will receive a census pack through the post, which will include an internet access code unique to your address. With this code, you can complete the survey on your computer, phone or tablet.

You can request a paper census if you would prefer; however, be mindful that a paper census will take to longer to submit than an online form.


Can Southway help me with completing the census?

We understand that not everyone has access to the internet, or feels confident online.

If you, or someone you know, needs help completing the census online form, get in touch. Leave us a message here and one of our friendly advisers will call you back.

For more information on the census, and advice on how to answer the questions, visit www.census.gov.uk.