Count them in - Census 2021

Making the census count

The Government’s official statistics body, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), along with their devolved equivalents, are already starting to plan what questions will be in the next UK census.

After the 2011 census we knew more about the Jedi population of the UK than about those who have served in our Armed Forces! Despite an estimated 1 in 10 of the UK population being members of the Armed Forces community, there's very limited information about where they are or what their needs might be.  

We have a once in a generation opportunity to change this. By adding new questions to the 2021 census we can improve our understanding of this unique community and ensure that politicians, charities and service providers fully meet the needs of our serving personnel, veterans and their families.

We count on them – let’s count them in.

Latest update

On 19 October 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed their intention to recommend the inclusion of a question on the Armed Forces community in the next census in England and Wales. This follows campaigning by the Legion, and support from local authorities and government departments.

The Legion welcomes this development and now looks to the Government to support the ONS’s recommendation in its census white paper. We also look forward to progress being made on recognising the Armed Forces community in the censuses in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and to Parliament’s eventual approval of the content of the 2021 Census.

Thank you to all of our supporters so far. Keep a look out for more updates on the campaign’s progress and how to get involved.

Your voice

Chris Skidmore MP is the Minister responsible for the 2021 Census. Please ask him to commit to including a question on the Armed Forces community in the next census.

Support our campaign today and make sure that we count our Armed Forces community in.

Our growing support

To date, more than 200 MPs have pledged their support, along with more than 150 local authorities and numerous academic institutions and military charities, including:

  • Poppyscotland
  • Help for Heroes
  • RAF Benevolent Fund
  • Forces in Mind Trust 
  • Forces Pension Society
  • CAIS / Change Step
  • British Forces Resettlement Services
  • Army Families Federation
  • RAF Families Federation
  • Naval Families Federation
  • Blesma
  • SSAFA
  • The King’s Centre for Military Health Research
  • Walking with the Wounded
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Northumbria Universities’ Hub for Veteran and Military Families Research
  • Combat Stress
  • Royal British Legion Industries
  • and many more

To support our campaign or for more information, please email publicaffairs@britishlegion.org.uk.

Invisible veterans

For the launch of our #CountThemIn campaign, an art project featuring four veterans painted into their surroundings, highlighted how they are invisible amongst the general population in the current census. View the images and how they were created here.

Support our Armed Forces with a photo

Why not download our pledge card for a census selfie? Don't forget to use #CountThemIn so we can display them below. 

Download the pledge card in English (pdf)

Download the pledge card in Welsh (pdf)

#CountThemIn

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