Overcoming STIGMAS attached to the Census

As households across the country prepare to take part in Census 2021, in the meanwhile, a Community Advisor from Calderdale says she’s been working hard to dispel misunderstandings of the Census amongst the South Asian communities.

Nusrat Bibi, has worked in the higher and further education sector in Yorkshire for more than 17 years. Her role with the ONS on the Census 2021, is to engage with local community leaders to overcome any stigmas attached to census.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Some of the difficulties we face from the Asian communities are mistrust in authority, worries about data security, worries about being identified, lack of awareness, feeling under represented and not seeing any benefits,” explains Nusrat.

“In order to combat these difficulties I’ve been working with local community leaders from mosques, community centres, and youth centres so we can provide information and answer any question.

“I would like to reach out to the Asian community in Calderdale and provide them with information on how to complete the census form online and where to get help if help is required, we are aiming for local support centres to provide assistance.”

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It 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.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes.

“That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

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, visit census.gov.uk.

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