IT may be Britain’s biggest survey – but the 2011 Census is nothing to fear.
That was the message as the Census, a nationwide population survey, began to arrive through letterboxes across Huddersfield.
By Sunday, March 27, every household will be expected to have filled in the form which surveys population size, ethnic makeup, age, jobs, marital status and other basic information.
While it sounds daunting the Census, which is printed in 59 languages, is claimed to be easy to complete and confidential.
“We won’t make any distinctions between people and we won’t pass any information on and that includes to the police and the council,” said John Birkenshaw, who is leading the 230 staff carrying out the survey in Kirklees.
“People will be concerned but the information won’t be shared with other government agencies.
“Since the Census started in 1801 there’s been no unlawful release so we’ve a good track record.
“It’s held on microfiche so there can’t be any computer access to it.”
From luxury homes to house boats, all will be included – even homeless people.
The Census, which can for the first time be completed online, is used to create a picture of England and Wales so cash can be allocated accordingly.
Mr Birkenshaw said: “The importance of filling it in is that the Government allocates money.”
And extra help is available for older people and people with disabilities.