Topic updates

Are You Ready for the Release of the 2021 Census Data?

Katie Tyler

19th September 2022

I'm sure we're all getting excited for the release of the 2021 Census data!

The Office for National Statistics has already published an explanation of how they have attempted to maximise the quality of the data collected in the 2021 Census. Some of the main points discussed on the ONS website include an explanation of how the non response rates were estimated, how a variety of collection methods were used to access a larger, more representative sample and how actual response rates exceeded the Census’ own target of 94% for England and Wales, by achieving 97%.

The Office for National Statistics has suggested that these methodological approaches have helped to increase the validity of the research. However, can quantitative questionnaires be truly valid? The 2021 Census is a great example of quantitative methodology, which helps students understand and evaluate official statistics, social facts, validity, reliability, positivism, secondary data, value freedom and much more.

So: set your reminders, as most of the 2021 Census data is due to be released between October and November 2022. Although the various sociological theories interpret the data differently and their preferred methodological approaches differ, much of this data is integral to the beginnings of good sociological debate. And Sociologists do love a debate!

Katie Tyler

Katie is an experienced Sociology teacher and examiner.

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