UK Census Questions 2011

Last night, I mentioned the UK Census as a sorce of data for a thing; it made me go look at the copy I’d typed up to see how that data could be gleaned from the census. I was so surprised at the intrusiveness of the questions on the census when I received it that I typed it up to share with a few friends. I’ll store this here now, so I can point to it in the future.

I’ve now filled out census forms twice – in the US in 2000, and in the UK in 2011. The US one was about a half-sheet of paper (A5), front and back, and took me about five minutes. The UK one was a 32-page booklet (A4), wanting each individual to answer separately. The household section is five pages with 14 questions; the individual sections are each four pages with 43 questions. UK law requires your response to every single question except only the one about what religion you are.

The questions …


(My comments are italicized and in parentheses; I’ve only typed up one person’s lot of questions.)

Household questions

H1. Who usually lives here? (Tick all that apply)

__ Me, this is my permanent or family home
__ Family members including partners, children, and babies born on or before 27 March 2011
__ Students and/or schoolchildren who live away from home during term time
__ Housemates, tenants, or lodgers
__ People who usually live outside the UK who are staying in the UK for 3 months or more
__ People who work away from home within the UK, or are members of the armed forces, if this is their permanent or family home
__ People who are temporarily outside the UK for less than 12 months
__ People staying temporarily who usually live in the UK but do not have another UK address, for example, relatives, friends
__ Other people who usually live here, including anyone temporarily away from home
OR __ No-one usually lives here, for example this is a second address or holiday home (if this applies, go to H4)

H2. Counting everyone you included in question H1, how many people usually live here?

H3. Starting with yourself, list the names of all the people counted in question H2 including children, babies, and lodgers.

H4. Apart from everyone counted in question H2, who else is staying overnight here on 27 March 2011? These people are counted as visitors. Remember to include children and babies. (Tick all that apply)

__ People who usualy live somewhere else in the UK, for example, boy/girlfriends, friends, relatives
__ People staying here because it is their second address, for example, for work. Their permanent or family home is elsewhere
__ People who usually live outside the UK who are staying in the UK for less than 3 months
__ People here on holiday
OR __ There are no visitors staying overnight here on 27 March 2011 (If this applies, go to H6)

H5. Counting only the people included in question H4, how many visitors are staying overnight here on 27 March 2011?

H6. How are members of this household related to each other?

  • Name of Person 1: First Name _________ Last Name ____________
  • Name of Person 2: First Name _________ Last Name ____________
How is Person 2 related to Person 1?
__ Husband or wife
__ Same-sex civil partner
__ Partner
__ Son or daughter
__ Step-child
__ Brother or sister
__ Step-brother or step-sister
__ Mother or father
__ Step-mother or step-father
__ Grandchild
__ Grandparent
__ Relation – other
__ Unrelated (including foster child)

(It then asks how person 3 is related to person 1 and person 2, and so on through person 6).

H7. What type of accommodation is this?

  • A whole house or bungalow that is:
  • __ Detached
    __ Semi-detached
    __ Terraced (including end-terrace)
  • A flat, maisonette, or apartment that is:
  • __ in a purpose-built block of flats or tenement
    __ part of a converted or shared house (including bedsits)
    __ in a commercial building (for example, in an office building, hotel, or over a shop)
  • A mobile or temporary structure:
  • __ a caravan or other mobile or temporary structure

H8. Is this household’s accommodation self-contained?

(This means that all the rooms, including the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet, are behind a door that only this household can use)

__ Yes, all the rooms are behind a door that only this household can use
__ No

H9. How many rooms are available for use only by this household?

Do NOT count: bathrooms, toilets, halls or landings, rooms that can only be used for storage such as cupboards

Count all other rooms, for example: kitchens, living rooms, utility rooms, bedrooms, studies, conservatories

If two rooms have been converted into one, count them as one room

H10. How many of these rooms are bedrooms?

H11. What type of central heating does this accommodation have?

Tick all that apply, whether or not you use it.

Central heating is a central system that generates heat for multiple rooms

__ No central heating
__ Gas
__ Electric (including storage heaters)
__ Oil
__ Solid fuel (for example wood, coal)
__ Other central heating

H12. Does your household own or rent this accommodation?

__ Owns outright (go to H14)
__ Owns with a mortgage or loan (go to H14)
__ Part owns and part rents (shared ownership)
__ Rents (with or without housing benefit)
__ Lives here rent free

H13. Who is your landlord?

__ Housing association, housing co-operative, charitable trust, registered social landlord
__ Council (local authority)
__ Private landlord or letting agency
__ Employer of a household member
__ Relative or friend of a household member
__ Other

H14. In total, how many cars or vans are owned, or available for use, by members of this household?

Include any company cars or vans available for private use

__ None
__ 1
__ 2
__ 3
__ 4 or more, write in number __

Individual questions, Person 1 start here

1. What is your name?

(You get 17 characters for your first name, and 17 characters for your last name; it doesn’t ask anywhere on the form for middle names.)

2. What is your sex?

__ Male
__ Female

3. What is your date of birth?

4. On 27 March 2011, what is your legal marital or same-sex civil partnership status?

__ Never married and never registered a same-sex civil partnership
__ Married
__ Separated, but still legally married
__ Divorced
__ Widowed
__ In a registered same-sex civil partnership
__ Separated, but still legally in a same-sex civil partnership
__ Formerly in a same-sex civil partnership which is now legally dissolved
__ Surviving partner from a same-sex civil partnership

5. Do you stay at another address for more than 30 days a year?

__ No (go to 7)
__ Yes, write in other UK address below
__ Yes, outside the UK, write in country

6. What is that address?

__ Armed forces base address
__ Another address when working away from home
__ Student’s home address
__ Student’s term time address
__ Another parent or guardian’s address
__ Holiday home
__ Other

7. Are you a schoolchild or student in full-time education?

__ Yes
__ No (go to 9)

8. During term time, do you live:

__ at the address on the front of the questionnaire?
__ at the address in question 5? (go to 43)
__ at another address? (go to 43)

9. What is your country of birth?

__ England (go to 13)
__ Wales (go to 13)
__ Scotland (go to 13)
__ Northern Ireland (go to 13)
__ Republic of Ireland
__ Elsewhere, write in the current name of the country (you get 17 characters)

10. If you were not born in the United Kingdom, when did you most recently arrive to live here?


11. If you arrived before 27 March 2010, go to 13

If you arrived on or after 27 March 2010, go to 12

12. Including the time you have already spent here, how long do you intend to stay in the United Kingdom?

__ Less than 6 months
__ 6 months or more but less than 12 months
__ 12 months or more

13. How is your health in general?

__ Very good
__ Good
__ Fair
__ Bad
__ Very bad

14. Do you look after, or give any help or support to family members, friends, neighbours, or others because of either:

  • long-term physical or mental ill-health/disability?
  • problems related to old age?

Do not count anything you do as part of your paid employment

__ No
__ Yes, 1-19 hours a week
__ Yes, 20-49 hours a week
__ Yes, 50 or more hours a week

15. How would you describe your national identity?

Tick all that apply

__ English
__ Welsh
__ Scottish
__ Northern Irish
__ British
__ Other, write in (you get 17 characters)

16. What is your ethnic group?

Choose one section from A to E, then tick one box to best describe your ethnic group or background

  • A: White
  • __ English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
    __ Irish
    __ Gypsy or Irish Traveller
    __ Any other White background, write in (you get 17 characters)
  • B: Mixed/multiple ethnic groups
  • __ White and Black Caribbean
    __ White and Black African
    __ White and Asian
    __ Any other Mixed/multiple ethnic background, write in (you get 17 characters)
  • C: Asian/Asian British
  • __ Indian
    __ Pakistani
    __ Bangladeshi
    __ Chinese
    __ Any other Asian background, write in (you get 17 characters)
  • D: Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • __ African
    __ Caribbean
    __ Any other Black/African/Caribbean background, write in (you get 17 characters)
  • E: Other ethnic group
  • __ Arab
    __ Any other ethnic group, write in (you get 17 characters)

17. This question is intentionally left blank, go to 18

(This question is for Wales only, asking the Welsh if they speak Welsh, and if so how well).

18. What is your main language?

__ English, go to 20
__ Other, write in (including British Sign Language)

19. How well can you speak English?

__ Very well
__ Well
__ Not well
__ Not at all

20. What is your religion?

This question is voluntary.

__ No religion
__ Christian (including Church of England, Catholic, Protestant, and all other Christian denomiations)
__ Buddhist
__ Hindu
__ Jewish
__ Muslim
__ Sikh
__ Any other religion, write in (you get 17 characters)

21. One year ago, what was your usual address?

If you had no usual address one year ago, state the address where you were staying.

__ The address on the front of this questionnaire
__ Student term time/ boarding school address in the UK, write in term time address below
__ Another address in the UK, write in below
__ Outside the UK, write in country.

22. What passports do you hold?

Tick all that apply

__ United Kingdom
__ Irish
__ Other, write in
__ None

23. Are your day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months?

__ Yes, limited a lot
__ Yes, limited a little
__ No

24. If you are aged 16 or over, go to 25.

If you are aged 15 or under, go to 43.

25. Which of these qualifications do you have?

Tick every box that applies if you have any of the qualifications listed.

If your UK qualification is not listed, tick the box that contains its nearest equivalent.

If you have qualifications gained outside the UK, tick the ‘Foreign qualifications’ box and the nearest UK equivalents (if known).

__ 1-4 O levels/CSEs/GCSEs (any grades), Entry Level, Foundation Diploma
__ NVQ Level 1, Foundation GNVQ, Basic Skills
__ 5+ O levels (passes)/CSEs (grade 1)/GCSEs (grades A* – C), School Certificate, 1 A level/ 2 – 3 AS levels / VCEs, Higher Diploma
__ NVQ Level 2, Intermediate GNVQ, City and Guilds Craft, BTEC First/General Diploma, RSA Diploma
__ Apprenticeship
__ 2+ A levels/VCEs, 4+ AS levels, Higher School Certificate, Progression/Advanced Diploma
__ NVQ Level 3, Advanced GNVQ, City and Guilds Advanced Craft, ONC, OND, BTEC National, RSA Advanced Diploma
__ Degree (for example BA, BSc), Higher degree (for example MA, PhD, PGCE)
__ NVQ Level 4 – 5, HNC, HND, RSA Higher Diploma, BTEC Higher Level
__ Professional qualifications (for example teaching, nursing, accountancy)
__ Other vocational/work-related qualifications
__ Foreign qualifications
__ No qualifications

26. Last week, were you:

Tick all that apply.

Include any paid work, including casual or temporary work, even if only for one hour.

__ working as an employee? Go to 32.
__ on a government sponsored training scheme? Go to 32.
__ self-employed or freelance? Go to 32.
__ working paid or unpaid for your own or your family’s business? Go to 32.
__ away from work ill, on maternity leave, on holiday, or temporarily laid off? Go to 32.
__ doing any other kind of paid work? Go to 32.
__ none of the above

27. Were you actively looking for any kind of paid work during the last four weeks?

__ Yes
__ No

28. If a job had been available last week, could you have started it within two weeks?

__ Yes
__ No

29. Last week, were you waiting to start a job already obtained?

__ Yes
__ No

30. Last week, were you:

Tick all that apply

__ retired (whether receiving a pension or not)?
__ a student?
__ looking after home or family?
__ long-term sick or disabled?
__ other

31. Have you ever worked?

__ Yes, write in the year that you last worked. Go to 32.
__ No, have never worked. Go to 43.

32. Answer the remaining questions for your main job or, if not working, your last main job.

Your main job is the job in which you usually work (worked) the most hours.

33. In your main job, are (were) you:

__ an employee?
__ self-employed or freelance without employees?
__ self-employed with employees?

34. What is (was) your full and specific job title?


Do not state your grade or pay band.

(You get 34 spaces for this one).

35. Briefly describe what you do (did) in your main job.

(Another 34 spaces).

36. Do (did) you supervise any employees?

Supervision involves overseeing the work of other employees on a day-to-day basis.

__ Yes
__ No

37. At your workplace, what is (was) the main activity of your employer or business?


If you are (were) a civil servant, write GOVERNMENT.

If you are (were) a local government officer, write LOCAL GOVERNMENT and give the name of your department within the local authority.

(You get 51 spaces for this one).

38. In your main job, what is (was) the name of the organisation you work (worked) for?

If you are (were) self-employed in your own organisation, write in the business name.

(You get 34 spaces for this one).

__ No organisation, for example, self-employed, freelance, or work (worked) for a private individual.

39. If you had a job last week, go to 40.

If you didn’t have a job last week, go to 43.

40. In your main job, what is the address of your workplace?

If you work at or from home, on an offshore installation, or have no fixed workplace, tick one of the boxes below.

If you report to a depot, write in the depot address.

(Blank for address).
OR __ Mainly work at or from home
__ Offshore installation
__ No fixed place

41. How do you usually travel to work?

Tick one box only.

Tick the box for the longest part, by distance, of your usual journey to work.

__ Work mainly at or from home
__ Underground, metro, light rail, tram
__ Train
__ Bus, minibus, or coach
__ Taxi
__ Motorcycle, scooter, or moped
__ Driving a car or van
__ Passenger in a car or van
__ Bicycle
__ On foot
__ Other

42. In your main job, how many hours a week (including paid and unpaid overtime) do you usually work?

__ 15 or less
__ 16-30
__ 31-48
__ 49 or more

43. There are no more questions for Person 1.

Go to questions for Person 2.

OR If there are no more people in this household, go to the visitor questions on the back page.

OR If there are no visitors staying here overnight, go to the Declaration on the front page.

Visitor questions

V. How many visitors did you include in question H5?

__ 1 to 3 – answer questions V1 to V4 below for each visitor.
__ 4 or more – answer questions V1 to V4 below for the first three visitors then go to or call 0300 0201 101 to request a Continuation Questionnaire.
Visitor A

V1. What is this person’s name?

V2. What is this person’s sex?

__ Male
__ Female

V3. What is this person’s date of birth?

V4. What is this person’s usual UK address?

OR, __ Outside the UK, write in country


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