LGBTQ+ community included in 2021 census

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The 2021 census is to be completed online

The 2021 census will include questions on sexuality and gender identity for the first time.

Data from all households Across England and Wales will be collected to give the most accurate reflection on how the two countries are functioning.

The addition of the voluntary questions means that the LGBTQ+ community have been included in the census for the first time in history.

The new questions are:
Which of the following best describes your sexual orientation?
Is the gender you identify with, the same as your sex registered at birth?

The information submitted in the census will remain anonymous for 100 years, although the results will be released next year.

For anyone who is not comfortable with revealing information to their household, but wishes to complete the questions, can have the census sent to their mobile phone, to ensure complete anonymity.

The census is a compulsory document and anyone who does not fill it in could be fined up to £1,000.
If the census was optional, it would not give a true representation of the communities, groups, genders, sexuality, living conditions etc. in England and Wales.

People have been encouraged to complete the census on Sunday March 21. Reminders will be sent to those who have not completed it by this date.

The Office for National Statistics send out the census as an independent body from the government. However, the government use the findings to make publioc service plans across the country, such as whether a city or town needs more schools, roads, support groups etc.

Charities can also use the statistics to ask the government for funding of projects, on the basis of the data found in the census results.

About Toni Brown, JMU Journalism