Academy welcomes decision on 2021 Census

July 28, 2014

Press Release 28th July 2014 The organisation representing the social sciences in the UK has welcomed the decision to maintain the Census for England and Wales in 2021. The Academy of Social Sciences particularly welcomes the opportunity to augment the census of households with ‘administrative data’ gathered from citizens’ interaction with government and its agencies. The Academy, which represents 46 learned societies with over 90,000 members, says today [28 July 2014] “the Government is right that the 2021 Census should go ahead as planned.

“In the formal consultation over the future of the Census last year, we said that it should be kept because no other dataset provides the same level of granularity consistently across the whole of the UK. The Census is a vital record of communities, family structures, occupations, mortality and social mobility. It maps long-term trends and informs such diverse and important issues as migration, ethnic minorities and commuting times and routes.

“Supplementing its outputs with administrative data is an exciting step forward. We look forward to the social science it will make possible.”

The Academy’s full response to the Census consultation can be seen here: ONS Future of the Census Consultation AcSS Final Response December 2013

The Academy has launched its Campaign for Social Science, one of whose four main policies is the preservation of longitudinal datasets:

• The Financial Times article says: “Writing to MPs on the public administration select committee, Mr Maude [Cabinet Office minister] reiterated his view that the census is “outdated” and could be delivered more effectively and more cheaply, but said he accepted the 2021 census should go ahead, alongside use of existing data and surveys.

Notes • The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its mission is to promote social sciences in the UK for the public benefit. It set up the Campaign for Social Science, which will issue a major report on the social sciences to policy-makers and the public in early 2015.   For more information, please contact: Tony Trueman Press Officer, Campaign for Social Science/Academy of Social Sciences 07964 023392 [email protected]