A census is the process of collecting and recording information about all of the people in a country or area, typically once every 10 years. This data is then used to describe the population, its size and growth rate, its spatial distribution, social characteristics (e.g. age structure, gender make-up), economic activity and other aspects of human life (e.g. occupation).
The UK population is increasing at a faster rate than anywhere else in Europe with an estimated 12 million more people by 2039. The UK has been growing steadily since the end of World War II with around half this growth due to migration which is set to continue into the future.
The census is a decennial national population and housing count of all people that live in a country. In this case, it is a census of the population of the UK.
In March 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that there would be no question on ethnicity from the 2021 Census. This means that there will be no data collected on ethnicity available from any future Census in England and Wales.