2021 Census may include questions about sexual and gender identity

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 12:15

In June 2015 The Office for National Statistics (ONS) launched a public consultation asking census users for their views on the topics that the 2021 Census questionnaire in England and Wales might cover. 

The ONS has published the results of the consultation and have said that there was a clear need for improved information on sexual identity. Alongside the results of the consultation, ONS have produced separate topic reports and research plans, including ones for sexual identity and gender identity which you can find and download by clicking here.

The consultation has concluded:

Sexual identity:

There is a clear need among data users for improved information on sexual identity, especially in relation to policy development, service provision and fulfilling duties under the Equality Act 2010.

  • ONS will be undertaking development and small-scale question testing, ahead of finalising the questionnaire for the 2017 Census Test.
  • This large-scale test (of about 100,000 households) will be a split sample test with one of the main aims being to assess the impact on response of the inclusion of a sexual identity question.
  • However, there are specific legislative issues linked with collecting data on sexual identity in the Census, and it is possible that the inclusion of a question on sexual identity in the census would require an amendment to primary legislation.

Gender identity:

There is a clear requirement for information on gender identity for policy development and service planning; especially in relation to the provision of health services.

  • There are considerations regarding data quality, public acceptability and respondent burden and specific legislative issues linked with collecting data on this topic, and it is possible that the inclusion of a question in the census would require an amendment to primary legislation.
  • ONS will undertake further work to clarify the information requirement and whether/how they could meet identified needs. In particular they will be reviewing the ONS ‘Trans Data Position Paper’ published in 2009, in light of subsequent changes in legislation; and explore options for meeting the user requirement for data including using administrative data.

FInd out more here 


 

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