People in Birmingham city centre were able to find out more about the upcoming 2011 census on Friday when the purple bus that’s the star of the TV advertising campaign aimed at publicising the event visited Victoria Square.
Work has already begun on the census ahead of the big event, with many of the 40,000-strong army of workers already having been recruited. In Birmingham 600 staff will be employed to ensure 4000,000 homes received and return the forms.
The census, which takes place every ten years, is the largest information-gathering exercise in the country and the information collected will be used to make budgetary and social projections for central and local government over the next decade.
Anyone worried about State intrusion into their private lives or personal details becoming public knowledge are being assured that this is not the case. Government officials will receive basic numbers rather than detailed information. As area Census manager Paul Glover told the Press, “You probably give more away when you take out a mobile phone contract.”
Census forms will be posted to every household in the country from 7th March and householders will be required to give details based on the night of 27th March. This year, for the first time ever returns can be filed online. From 6th April collators will visit homes which have not yet returned the census form, in order to help those who may have difficult in filling them.
The information gathered will begin to be made available in summer 2012, and the final date in this year’s census timetable will be when full details are made public – in 2111. It may be too late for you to learn anything by then, but any of your descendants researching their family tree will be glad you took the time to take part.
More information can be found at 2011.census.gov.uk