Census 2021 data now available inside SAIL Databank

16 February 2024

About Census 2021 

Census 2021 contains information about characteristics such as ethnicity, housing, health, education, and migration. For the first time, the census also contains data about sexual orientation and Armed Forces veterans. The information is grouped together based on who the information is about, for example individuals or households. All the data has been de-identified meaning that all the personal identifiers (names, contact details, etc) have been removed.   

It is the only survey which provides a detailed picture of the entire population and is unique because it covers everyone at the same time and asks the same core questions everywhere. This makes it easy to compare different parts of the country in research and enables central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to target their resources more effectively. For example, to plan housing, education, health and transport services. 

Linkable to SAIL Databank’s rich collection of data 

Containing billions of person-based records, SAIL Databank is a rich and trusted research environment. It improves lives by providing researchers with secure, linkable and de-identified data. Researchers will therefore be able to apply to link Census 2021 data to the many other de-identified data sources held in the SAIL Databank.  

This includes linkage to the Ministry of Justice Data First family court and Cafcass linked dataset which came about from a data sharing agreement between the SAIL Databank, Ministry of Justice and Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). The de-identified dataset contains information on adoption, divorce, Family Law Act, public law and private law cases, family law applications and legal outputs, marriage and divorce characteristics, personal-level information, case events, timeliness, number of hearings and legal representation in England and Wales. 

The Ministry of Justice Data First programme is in the process of refreshing current datasets and sharing new datasets with the SAIL Databank, which will also be linkable to the census. There will be more information on this in the coming months.   

Get involved 

To submit a new project application requesting access to the Census 2021 data, enquire via the SAIL Databank website. To add Census 2021 data to an existing approved project, contact helpdesk@chi.swan.ac.uk for advice. 

There is an ADR UK Research Fellowship funding opportunity open until 30 April 2024 welcoming applications based on the dataset: Data First: Family Court linked to Cafcass and Census 2021 - England and Wales - ADR UK

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