Take part in Census 2021

Every household in England and Wales must, by law, complete Census 2021 which is being run by the Office of National Statistics.

Statistics from the census help with decisions on planning and funding services such as health, education and transport in Salford. Personal information is kept private for 100 years.

People who do not complete the census could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Everyone has been sent an access code to complete it online. There are many ways to get help to complete the census. Census 2021 has help pages with information and support.

Go online at a library

Salford’s Gateway Centres, Broughton Hub and libraries all have free computer access subject to COVID-19 restrictions. You can book a 60-minute computer appointment to complete your census onlne at Eccles library by calling 0161 607 8237 or Broughton library by calling 0161 686 5405.


  • The Census2021 contact centre free on 0800 141 2021  - paper, Braille and large print versions are available. You can also contact them if you have lost your original census access code.
  • Language helpline free on 0800 587 2021
  • Text relay service on (18001) followed by the number you want
  • Contact the Spirit of Salford phone line free on 0800 952 1000 - where you can book a phone call or video call for yourself or someone else to get help to complete the census
  • Or book one of our Better Off Coffee and Chat sessions - normally used for help with benefits and council tax - to get assistance with the census.  


British Sign Language videos which explain all about the census and how to complete your questionnaire

Census support centres - Salford

The Salford ones are listed below, but to find others bordering Salford which may be more convenient for you, please visit the ONS website.

They will offer face to face support from Monday 12 April but please check with the centre before travelling. Census completion centres are being run and overseen by the Good Things Foundation.

Eccles Mosque and Education Centre
5 Liverpool Road
Greater Manchester
M30 0WB
Telephone: 07735668823
Email: saiqa.ellahi@flowhesionfoundation.org.uk

SR Security Services Ltd Salford
Unit 16 Waters Edge Business Park Modwen Road
M5 3EZ
Telephone: 0161 443 1322
Email: edutrainingcentre@gmail.com

Binoh Community Centre
Binoh Community Centre
Leicester Hall
115 Leicester Road
M7 4GP
Telephone: 0161 720 8585
Email: office@binohofmanchester.org.uk

Welcome Centre (Wai Yin)
18-32 Brentfield Avenue
Cheetham Hill
M8 0TW
Telephone: 0161 513 4126
Email: census.support@waiyin.org.uk

Census 2021 myth buster

Census 2021 is over so I don’t have to do it

Every household is required by law to complete the census. Even though Census Day was 21 March it’s not too late to complete it.

Students don’t count in the census

Students are vitally important and need to be included in the census. Please complete a form for your usual term-time address even if you weren’t there on census day. This includes international students.

If you’re currently living at your home address, you will need to be included in the census for that household too.

All universities and colleges have details of how to get a census form. You can also request an access code.

You only count yourself at the house you were in on Census Day

Everyone needs to complete census form for their usual address, even if they were elsewhere on Census Day, as local services will still be required at both addresses.

Request an access code for your second address.

You don’t need to complete a return for an empty house

Yes you do. It’s is important that the ONS has a census return for all houses, even if nobody usually lives there – for example holiday homes and caravans - because it’s census of housing as well as a census of population.

Local councils need to know about all houses in their area so they can plan services and work out how many new houses need to be built.

Request an access code if you own an empty house, flat or caravan.

I’m not a British citizen, so I don’t have to be counted

Everyone staying in England and Wales on Census Day, March 21 has to be counted.

My information will be shared

Personal census data is kept private for 100 years.

No individual or their responses can be identified in the statistics published by the ONS.

Your personal information can't be seen by anyone who makes decisions about you. It cannot be used by government to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes, or by landlords or any other private organisation.

The census is pointless. It doesn’t help me.

The census benefits us all by underpinning all the services every single one of us relies on.

It provides information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and the information from it will help inform policy at a local and national level for years to come.

From school places to the planning of bike lanes – census information is even used when deciding where to build new supermarkets, what food to put on the shelves and how many parent and toddler spaces to put in the car park.

If you can’t get online, you can’t do the census

Not true – there is plenty of help to complete it online or offline and you can ask for a paper, Braille or large print form for yourself or someone else.

Please see above.

Census officers will ask for personal information.

Census field officers’ role is to help and encourage people who have not yet filled in their census questionnaire online or on paper after Census Day and direct them to the support services they need.

They carry ID to show they are genuinely working on the census.

A field officer will only ask for a householder’s name and phone number if they request a new online code. They will also ask for the householder’s name if they request a paper questionnaire.

They will never ask to see personal documents like passports or birth certificates. Field officers will never ask for payment and they will not enter your home.

Census officers will fine you on the doorstep

For a fine to be imposed your case must go to court for non-completion of the census. Census field officers will never ask for a payment on the doorstep.

The ONS will support people to respond to the census but if a household refuses to fill out a questionnaire they will ultimately proceed to an interview under caution, which may be followed by a court summons. If convicted you could be fined up to £1,000 and you will then have a criminal record.

I’ve got to pay a fine online for making a mistake on my census

For a fine to be imposed your case must go to court for non-completion of the census.

You will never be issued with a fine by text message, on social media or by email.

The ONS cyber intelligence team is scouring the internet for phishing sites and taking them down. If you find a site that looks suspicious or receive text messages with links to sites asking for money related to the census, do not engage with them.

Report them to the Census 2021 Contact Centre by ringing 0800 141 2021.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 7 April 2021

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