A population census is a key instrument for assessing the needs of local communities. When related to other data sources such as housing or agricultural censuses, or sample surveys, the data becomes even more useful.
Data collected by the census is used to provide statistical outputs which central government uses to plan and allocate local authority services funding, and which local authorities themselves use to identify and meet the needs of their local communities. Other organisations that use census data include healthcare organisations, community groups, researchers and businesses.
The questionnaires, including people’s personal information, are kept confidential for 100 years before being released to the public, providing an important source of information for historical, demographic and genealogy research.