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Census of population

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Legislation

The Office for National Statistics has responsibility for the Census in England and Wales. However in order to give the National Assembly for Wales a more formal role, a Transfer of Functions Order was agreed in 2006.

Transfer of Functions Order (TFO)

In the light of the strength of feeling expressed in Wales on the matter of recording Welsh identity in the 2001 Census of Population, it was agreed that the National Assembly for Wales should have a more formal role in agreeing future census forms in Wales. To give effect to that agreement, the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) (No.2) Order 2006 (external link) includes provisions giving the Assembly:

  • a right in law to be consulted on the making of the Census Order
  • the power to make regulations for administrating the Census in Wales.

The Transfer of Functions Order (TFO) was made by Her Majesty in Council on 14 December 2006, and came into force on 15 December 2006 (having been through the requisite procedures in Plenary and in both Houses of Parliament).

Under the Government of Wales Act 2006 these functions transferred to Welsh ministers in May 2007.

White Paper

The 2011 Census of Population and Housing White Paper 'Helping to shape tomorrow' (Cm 7513) (external link) announcing the UK Statistics Authority's proposals for the 2011 Census in England and Wales, was presented to Parliament on 11 December 2008 and in bilingual format to the National Assembly for Wales by the Minister for Finance and Public Service Delivery.

The White Paper details the extensive consultation undertaken to identify requirements for Census data and sets out the topics and questions proposed for inclusion. It also highlights changes in methodology, such as the delivery of questionnaires by post and the option to complete the questionnaire via the internet. Data security and confidentiality are highlighted as top priorities in all of these plans.

Census Order

The Census (England and Wales) Order 2009 (external link) sets out who needs to complete a census and the information to be to be collected. Welsh Ministers were formally consulted on the Census Order. The Order was approved by both the House of Lords and the House of Commons and was made by the Privy Council on 9 December 2009.

Census Regulations

The Census (Wales) Regulations 2010 (external link) set out the operational procedures and arrangements necessary to conduct the 2011 Census. The Regulations also include copies of the 2011 Census questionnaires.

The Minister for Business and Budget made the Census (Wales) Regulations on 24 April 2010. They came into force on 16 June 2010. This was the first time that Welsh Ministers made separate Census Regulations for Wales.

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