Community Insight and Census 2021 – Latest News

Census 2021 – Latest News

The release of the Census 2021 is the most eagerly awaited publication this year in the UK data world. The Census data will provide robust small area level data for a whole range of different themes. Here at Community Insight  we are very excited for the release and cannot wait to support you to use the data in the tool.

Since the data will be published at small area level it can all be included in Community Insight . Data for themes such as ethnicity, where the data landscape has been sparase for many years, will be available in Community Insight. This is a high priority topic for organisations looking to understand the impact of the pandemic on minority groups. 

When is the Census 2021 data going to be available in Community Insight ?

Our intention is to have the data sets loaded into Community Insight  within one week of publication by the ONS. The table below summarises the provisional release timetable outlined by the ONS. A more detailed and accurate timetable will be published in March 2022, by the ONS. 

What does this mean for Community Insight ?

All the data in Community Insight is published at small area level. Small area level includes postcode, Output Area, Lower layer super output area (LSOA)  and Middle layer super output area (MSOA). The majority of the census outputs will be published at this small area level. However, the initial publications may be published at Local Authority (LA) level only. Community Insight  does not contain LA level data because it cannot accurately apportion down to lower levels. Therefore, we will wait until the small area level data is published. If you have any concerns or questions about this please contact us on 

The ONS aims to stagger topic summary releases from Summer to Autumn of 2022.

The proposed theme order (informed by consultation responses):

  • Demography and Migration
  • Ethnic Group, National Identity, Language and Religion
  • Health, Disability and Unpaid Care
  • Housing
  • Labour Market and Travel to Work
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Education and Skills
  • Armed Forces Veterans


This will then be followed in Autumn by the release of more detailed single (univariate tables) including data from new themes, multivariate data (combining two or more themes together e.g. health and ethnicity). Non-standard populations such as resident and workplace population, migration and commuting flows will follow next.

New Census Data

There will be a variety of new data on specific minority groups ranging from housing breakdowns to new ethnic groups. These new data sets will be especially useful to those exploring equality, diversity and inclusion. The data sets will be available for you to access on Community Insight .


The following topics will have new data sets:

More Housing Breakdowns

There will be a number of additional breakdowns relating to housing stock. The following new categories will be available:

  • “a flat, maisonette or apartment: part of another converted building (for example, former school, church or warehouse)”
  • Heating – “Mains gas” and “Tank or bottled gas”
  • Heating – “Wood (for example, logs, waste wood or pellets)” and “Solid fuel (for example, coal)”
  • Heating – “Renewable energy (for example, solar thermal or heat pumps)”, “District or communal heat network” and “Other”
  • Unpaid Care – more broken down hours – 0-9, 10-19

The heating categories are likely to be of interest to groups exploring impacts of energy efficiency and fuel poverty. 

Gender Identity 

The ONS intend to investigate the feasibility of creating a detailed univariate table at Local Authority level that include for example: genderfluid, non-binary, trans man and trans woman. However, as they have yet to finalise this it is likely that any small area data will be merged in order to avoid disclosure. 

Sexual Orientation 

The ONS are planning to produce small area data on broad sexual orientation categories such as: straight or heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual or other sexual orientation, not stated. 

UK Armed Forces Veterans 

The ONS will publish breakdowns at household level including: armed forces veterans, armed forces veteran status of household reference person, number of armed forces veterans in household.

New Ethnic Groups

The ONS will consider the feasibility of producing statistics on the Eritrean, Romanian and Showman populations. They may do this by including them within the detailed ethnic group classification or by creating bespoke small population tables for these groups.

Support for using the new Census Data 

The ONS are running a number of webinars to share their updated plans for the first phase of the Census 2021 release.You can register for their events here. 

If you have any questions please contact us at