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Census test to take place next month

 
Created on 18/03/2017 @ 08:10
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Montgomeryshire will be the only part of Wales to be a test for the next national Census.

In preparation for the 2021 Census, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be carrying out a census test in the area next month.
 
Powys County Council is one of seven local authorities across England and Wales chosen to take part in the test on 9 April 2017. ONS will send selected households in Montgomeryshire a letter three weeks before the test with a unique access code, asking them to fill in their online questionnaire.

“It’s crucial ONS tests key elements to make sure everything will work as it should on census day,” said a council spokesperson. 

The 2021 census will be mainly online, so ONS needs to ensure systems are working correctly. ONS will also be testing new questions – including one on sexual identity – to find out whether they affect people’s responses.
 
Montgomeryshire is under the spotlight as it’s the only Welsh area being tested. The test will focus on ensuring ONS processes work in rural locations and in Welsh (the online questionnaire will be available in both English and Welsh). It’s also important the 2021 Census can accurately record the number of Welsh speaking people.
 
“Rural areas such as Powys typically have greater challenges with internet connection than much of the country. The test will show how and if it will be possible for people to complete the online questionnaire here,” added the spokesperson.

“There will be phone and online help available, and the test will enable ONS to plan resources to ensure that anyone who can’t complete online can do so on paper.
 
“Therefore when the time comes, just answer a few questions about yourself and the people in your household on test day, 9 April 2017. It should only take about 10 minutes of your time.”
 
Census Director Ben Humberstone said: “The census is important to all of us, as it is used to help plan and fund a range of services for communities such as transport, education and health.”
 
“This is a great chance for us to test out our plans for the 2021 Census – including questions, systems and services. We can then learn and make improvements before census day. By filling in your online questionnaire you are helping to shape the 2021 Census and therefore the future of your area and our country.”
 
Whatever you tell the census test will be in strictest confidence and will only be used by ONS to assess questions and systems ahead of 2021.
 
You will see census officers working in the area in April and May. Their role will be to help and encourage any households who haven’t responded.
 
For more information visit www.ons.gov.uk/census
 
Did you know…?
 
According to the 2011 Census:
 
·         Of the nearly 6,000 Powys residents recorded who work in education, 73% of those are female

·         In the 2011 Census, the number of residents who said they could speak, read AND write Welsh fell by 2% compared to the 2001 Census, from 16% to 14%. However, nearly 19% of residents said they could speak the language

·         Some 23% of Powys residents are over the age of 65, that’s 5% above the Welsh national average

·         More than half of Powys residents are married (51%), well above the England and Wales average

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