This weekend will see a once-in-a-decade event which gives a snapshot of life right now in Ruddington and beyond. ‘Census 2021’, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), takes place on Sunday 21st Match.
By now, every village household should have received the documents above – each with a unique web access code – to enable residents to complete it. The Census, responses to which are required by law, is sent to every residential property across England and Wales. The information people give will decide how services are planned and funded. Ultimately, it aims to ensure money is invested where it’s most needed – in emergency services, healthcare, school places and other vital services.
At the time of the 2011 Census, Ruddington had a population of 7,216, of which 48% were male and 52% female. Both the average and median ages for village residents was 42. With a significant amount of new housing since then, villagers will be particularly interested to see how these numbers have changed during the past ten years. The 2021 Census will include a new question on veterans of the UK Armed Forces, as well as voluntary questions, for those aged 16 and over, on sexual orientation and gender identity.
It’s the first time the Census has been run primarily online, making it more ‘COVID secure’, but also easy for most people to complete the questionnaire using a computer, smartphone or tablet. However, paper questionnaires are also available for those who need them and can be ordered by calling the dedicated freephone number 0800 876 6276.
Ruddington resident Leia Morales (pictured below) is the ONS’s ‘Community Engagement Manager’ for Rushcliffe who has been helping to raise awareness of the census, and the value in taking part, as well as running free online help sessions for anyone who wished to join in.
Leia says: “It is really exciting to be reaching Census Day on Sunday 21st of March. After 6 months of me talking about Census 2021 to local authorities community groups, organisations and charities, now everyone is talking about it. I can’t wait to see the data for Ruddington and how it will be used over the next 10 years to inform decisions in the village.”
Unfortunately, the continuation of Coronavirus restrictions has meant plans to provide computer access to complete your Census at Ruddington Library have been put on hold, since most Inspire Libraries will remain completely closed until April 12th at the earliest. However, Leia adds: “Despite being after Census Day, it will still be possible to complete your Census at this time if you haven’t already done so. But we need people to answer specific to their circumstances on Census Day. So, for example, if someone was to change jobs on the 20th of March, they would record their job on the 21st. For most people their circumstances won’t change between receiving the letter and the 21st, so there is no reason not to complete it earlier, at their convenience.”
Whilst data gathered this Sunday will be available next year, all personal records will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations. For more information about Census 2021 you can visit census.gov.uk.