It happens every 10 years – and it’s census time again.

Population statistics are vital for planning public services both locally and nationally.

The census helps build the most complete picture of England and Wales and getting the best possible response rates for the census will make sure that decisions are based on accurate, high-quality data.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have made some changes to reflect how society has changed over the last 10 years, adding new questions and taking a “digital-first” approach.

This means people can complete their census where and when they want to, online. Paper questionnaires are still available for people who need them.

The census is focused on understanding the needs of local communities and the ONS wants the response rate in 2021 to be as high as it was in 2011 when 94% returned the forms.

Clr Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate, said: “The census survey is a fantastic way to find out how our local communities are made up.

“We need every household in Kirklees to get involved to make sure the census is a success and gives us the level of information we need to help us plan for our future.”

Census day is March 21. However, households will receive a letter in the post from early March, giving them details of how to take part in the mandatory survey.

They will also receive a unique access code, inviting them to complete the survey online, although paper questionnaires are available on request.

The form only takes about 10 minutes to complete and it must be done by law. Anyone who fails to take part could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

For more information see the Census 2021 website.