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Muslim households urged to take part in Census 2021

26th Feb 2021

Nadine Osman

Muslim households in England and Wales are being urged to participate in the next Census on March 21 to help aid policy-makers conduct decisions based on the latest information possible.

Run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the census has been conducted for more than 200 years. The once-in-a-decade census will include questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity, with write-in options to allow everyone to identify their nationality, ethnic group and religion as they wish.

Census 2021 will highlight areas of deprivation, will show the ethnic make-up of the country, provide information on our living arrangements, health, education and the jobs we do and the data from it will help inform policy at a local and national level for years to come. It will also provide important insights into the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on society.

Explaining the importance of the Census, Sofia Niazi, who has worked on the last three censuses, said, “The data from the census can inform a wide spectrum of services from housing and education to transport, healthcare and research. Within my local area, I have come across community groups that use census data to secure funding and support those in the area. By completing the census, the local authorities are informed of their community make-up, and in turn, can put in provisions to support them.”

Kaltun Fadal, who is raising awareness of Census 2021 among Greater London’s Somali community said, “Somalis are a very small minority community and for the Government to see us and deliver targeted support, they need to know how many of us are out there and where we’re located”.

Data collected from the census also helps support local community groups and organisations. Former Secretary-General at the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan, branded the ONS “a national treasure” and the census “as invaluable both to public authorities and voluntary sector associations.”

He added, “With census data, the MCB has been able to identify pockets of deprivation and poverty to facilitate targeted policy interventions”.

“The 2011 Census highlighted for us the younger age profile of the Muslim population and the need for boosting services for young persons and increasing their involvement in decision-making within community bodies.

Census data on Muslim populations in hospital catchments also provided us with the evidence base to call for chaplaincy training and appointment of chaplains to serve the spiritual needs of patients and their families.”

Census 2021 will be the first to be run mostly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code in March, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets. Paper questionnaires will also be available on request, along with language support.

People can also complete the census over the phone with help from trained staff via our freephone contact centre. The ONS provides in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so.

For more info VISIT:
www.census.gov.uk

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