Households across the county should have received an invitation to take part in the census for England and Wales on Sunday, 21 March.

The census survey happens every 10 years and gives a snapshot of the population at that time. It is also a unique opportunity to be part of history.

A new question for armed forces veterans and two voluntary questions about gender identity and sexual orientation will help ensure the census is a true reflection of the people living in North Yorkshire.

Data from the census is used by local authorities, including the County Council, and central government in deciding how to provide local services. This ensures that decisions accurately reflect the communities that will use them. Data from the census will be available in 2022 but no personal data will be released for 100 years, keeping everything secure.

County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “Everyone benefits from the census. It informs decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues. Ultimately, it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs’ and dentists’ services based on the information people give. That’s why it is important to complete the census – to ensure an accurate picture exists to help us to direct our funds and services to the right places.”

Ruth Dyble, Census Engagement Manager, said: “The census is such an important survey, giving us accurate information about our local communities that will shape the future. It will also give us an everlasting picture of North Yorkshire during a pandemic.

“It’s a great thing to do as a family and quick and easy to complete. I would encourage everyone to make sure their voice is heard and leave a record for future generations.”

Every household letter contains a unique access code used to fill in the census online. Census day is March 21, but you can fill yours in as soon as you receive your letter if you are confident there will be no change in who usually lives in your household. Papers forms are available for those who need it, plus a range of other support.

Access any help, or request a paper form. The census support centre, freephone 0800 141 2021, is available if you cannot find the help you need online.

Find further information on Census 2021.