Every ten years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) conducts a nationwide survey known as the census, aiming to create a snapshot of society and how it is changing over time. The census results hold immense significance as they are widely used by policymakers involved in the planning, development, and allocation of resources for public services.
If feminist organisations and activists are able to explore and analyse census data ourselves, we may be able to reveal previously underexplored differences and inequalities. We can use our findings to call for intersectional inequalities to be factored into the planning, budgeting and delivery of public services, and to expose or prevent policy that discriminates on the basis of gender or other structural inequalities.
We have put together a few explainers to get you started – so you can dig into some census data yourself! The following explainers will give you an initial understanding of where to find census data and how it can be explored.
- help you understand what the Census 2021 is, what it is used for, and why it’s useful for feminist organisations,
- show you what topics are covered by the census, what isn’t included, and whether census data could be useful for your work or activism,
- show you how to use excel pivot tables to explore census data,
- give you an overview of Census Area Types,
- provide you with suggested research questions if you don’t know where to start.
Download them here:
- Census 2021 Explainer
- Using Excel Pivot Tables to Explore Census Data
- Understanding Census Area Types
- Suggested Research Questions