The census is here.

The census informs decisions about the things that matter to you. Census data helps inform funding decisions on public services in your area. Whether it’s planning new schools, doctors’ surgeries or bus routes, the information you share has an impact on the lives of everyone living in Northern Ireland.

It’s important to fill in your census because it gives us the most detailed information we have about our society.   We have a wide range of support available to help you take part in Census 2021.

When should I fill in my census questionnaire?

Census Day is Sunday 21 March – but you can fill yours in now using the pack we sent you in the post. Your answers should be about the people who usually live in your household on this date – even if you’re filling it in before then.

It’s easy to fill in your census questionnaire online.  You can complete on any device and it only takes around 20 minutes per household.

  1. Use the pack we sent in the post at the start of March which contains your household access code.
  2. Go to and select “Start census”.
  3. Enter your household access code. You can find this 16 digit code on the letter in your pack.
  4. Answer the questions and submit when complete.

There is plenty of help available for people who need it, including:

  • guidance and support in 17 languages
  • support in British and Irish Sign Language (BSL/ISL)
  • paper questionnaires available on request
  • large-print questionnaires and guidance
  • braille guidance booklets
  • an easy read information leaflet containing accessible messages and pictures
  • field staff visiting households to support completion after Census Day

What support is available?

Deaf, speech or hearing impairments

The online census questionnaire is compatible with most assistive technologies. At Accessible videos with BSL and ISL - Census 2021 you will find videos using BSL, ISL and subtitles that contain all the information you need to take part. If you have any questions, you can ring our text relay service on 18001 328 2021.

Learning disabilities or cognitive impairments

To help you take part in the census, we’ve created an easy read information leaflet Easy Read - Census 2021.

Blind or partially sighted

Most assistive technologies are compatible with the online census questionnaire, and we have created videos with audio to share important guidance Accessible videos with BSL and ISL - Census 2021. You can also order a braille guidance booklet, which includes information and translations of the census questions or a large-print paper questionnaire pack from our contact centre on 0800 328 2021.

Language support

Guidance booklets are available in 17 languages from Languages - Census 2021. They provide information and translate all the questions in the census questionnaire. If you’d like to ask a question using an interpreter, you can call the free language helpline on 0800 587 2021. If someone is not immediately available, you can book an appointment for later.

Lack confidence online

We aim to make things as easy as possible for everyone, but if you need support to complete your census online, we’re here to help. Our staff are available on the phone or online to provide practical support and guidance. If you prefer, you can request a paper questionnaire from our contact centre on 0800 328 2021.

For more help and advice visit or call our contact centre on 0800 328 2021