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Census 2021

Census 2021 first results published

ONS have released the first results from Census 2021 in England and Wales. 

The following tools have a useful perspective and presentation of the first release of Census 2021 on both local and national data

We have created a short briefing note that considers the main headlines of this first release of the 2021 Census

View Wirral Intelligence Service Census 2021 Report 

The first release data is also available using our local insight tool. 

On top of the key age-band data it also has comparisons from the 2011 Census to the present 2022 content

To see the interactive maps go to Wirral Local Insight and look for Census in the Data options

This report provides an overview of the "Census 2021 rounded population and household estimates for local authorities in England and Wales, by sex and five-year age" as published by the Office for National Statistics, with a particular focus on Wirral.

View Wirral Report 

Local authority comparison tool, letting you compare estimates for local authorities with other sources of data (Excel download)


ONS have published five datasets containing population and household estimates for England and for Wales, rounded to the nearest 100, at local authority level. These are: 

  • usual resident population by sex 
  • usual resident population by 5-year age group 
  • usual resident population by sex and 5-year age group 
  • usual resident population density 
  • number of households 

To explain the data, they have published two statistical bulletins, one focused on England and Wales and one focused on Wales.

This page will be updated as ONS release more data from Census 2021.

Last updated: 29 June 2022

ONS plans for the release of Census 2021 data and analysis, including first results, topic summaries, multivariate data and specialist data.

ONS aim to publish all main Census 2021 data on the population of England and Wales within two years of the census.

Phase 1

Census 2021 first results: published

On 28 June 2022 ONS published the first results from Census 2021 for England and Wales.

Datasets, publications and methodology

The results included rounded population and household estimates for England and Wales, for local authorities. View the list of the datasets, publications and methodology in the first results from the Census 2021 on the release calendar.

Interactive content

ONS also published an interactive article and game. View the interactive content from Census 2021 first results in the release calendar.

Topic summaries and area profiles (mainly univariate data)

From October to the end of the year 2022, ONS intend to publish a series of data and supporting commentary groups by a similar theme, known as topic summaries. Proposed topic summaries in publication order are:

  • demography and migration
  • ethnic group, national identity, language, and religion
  • UK armed forces veterans
  • housing
  • labour market and travel to work
  • sexual orientation and gender identity
  • education
  • health, disability, and unpaid care

The order has changed slightly from what they announced in their response to the Census 2021 Outputs consultation. As their timetable is planned around user need, it is and will remain subject to change. In accordance with the Code of Practice for official statistics (English only), they will confirm the publication of each topic summary at least four weeks in advance.

Alongside the release of topic summaries, they will make the data available through area profiles. This means that the public will be able to view statistics from different topics for a particular area and compare local statistics against national statistics.

Get more information about the datasets, variables and classifications planned for topic summaries and area profiles.

Phase 2: winter 2022 to early 2023

Start of the Census 2021 analysis programme

All Census 2021 data releases will be published with statistical commentary. A detailed three-year Census 2021 analysis programme will start after the release of topic summary data. Get more information about what we plan to publish in the first year of the analysis programme.

Multivariate data for the usual resident population base

Multivariate data will allow you to combine variables and explore relationships between the data, collected from Census 2021 on the usual resident population of England and Wales. We are introducing new functionality for Census 2021 data that will allow us to make our own datasets, as well as view and download ready-made datasets. Get more information about the new functionality and our plans to release multivariate data.

Short-term resident population data

The short-term resident population includes those who were not born in the UK and who intended to stay in the UK for less than 12 months, as of March 2021. Following user feedback, ONS have moved the release of this alternative population into phase two.

Phase 3: from spring 2023

Alternative population bases

Alternative population bases are the different geographical locations where individuals could have been counted for Census 2021. Examples include workplace, workday and out-of-term populations.

Small populations

Small populations are groups that are defined by their cultural background, including characteristics such as ethnic group, country of birth, religion and national identity. Examples of small populations that ONS are committed to producing datasets about include Cornish, Kashmiri, Nepali, Sikh, Ravidassia and Jain. Get more information about datasets we will produce and those we are considering to produce on alternative and small populations.

Detailed migration data

Detailed migration statistics provide the characteristics of people or households who have moved within the UK or from another country into the UK during the year before the census. Get more information about the datasets we will produce on detailed migration.

Origin-destination data or 'flow' data

Origin-destination data describes the movement of people from one location to another. Planned types of origin-destination data from Census 2021 include:

  • migration flow data
  • workplace flow data
  • second address flow data
  • student flow data

These data will be classified as either public, safeguard or secure. Get more details about our plans, including how you can access origin-destination data.

Microdata samples

Microdata are samples of anonymised records for individuals and households, which include a selection of associated census characteristics. Microdata samples will be classified in three ways: public, safeguarded or secure. Read more details about ONS plans including, how we can access microdata samples.

UK census data: from summer 2023

Censuses took place in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland in March 2021. Scotland’s census took place in March 2022. ONS are working closely with UK census offices to publish comparable data from across the UK. Get information about how they are working with the other UK census offices and our plans for UK census outputs.

More information

ONS asked for feedback about their release plans between July to October 2021. Read their proposals and outcomes of the Census 2021 outputs consultation on the ONS consultation website.

You can also contact ONS about Census 2021 output release plans by emailing