The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its response to public consultation regarding the 2021 Census of England and Wales.
The report, available at ons.gov.uk/census, comments on a variety of enquiries about the upcoming survey raised by researchers and members of the public with an interest in census data. The consultation ran from June to August 2015 and received a total of 606 responses from interested groups and individuals.
A number of respondents suggested that the Census should ask residents to provide their place of birth – a question that has not been asked since the 1951 Census. Unfortunately the question received an overall ‘user requirement’ score of 17 out of 100, and ONS has stated that it will not be included in the upcoming survey, as it demonstrates a “low user need” and raised “concerns around respondent burden and costs relating to collection, response rates and coding”.
The report also states that the 2021 Census will not ask residents to supply their maiden names – another question that had been suggested by family history researchers taking part in the consultation.
2021 Census director Ian Cope commented that while the ONS recognised the genealogical value of census data, there was not enough space to include every single question submitted by the public.