“The main objective of the 2011 UK Census in Cornwall is to obtain the most complete and accurate return possible so that the needs of all sectors of the Cornish community can be provided for.” David Bailey, Area Manager (2011 Census) Cornwall – Isles of Scilly
A census is held in the UK every 10 years (this time on Sunday March 27th 2011) to gain a clear understanding of the population and their needs. Census information is used by central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to plan and provide services including housing, healthcare and education at every level.
The information is also used by local community groups and projects to support bids for funding resulting in additional investment into local communities. The census is not about individuals – it is about gaining accurate numbers for future planning purposes.
The 2011 Census enables anyone who wishes to record their identity as Cornish by using the write-in option.
No dedicated ‘Cornish’ tickbox
On this occasion the Cornish and several other groups of similar size within Britain do not have a designated box within the census questionnaire, which is why the write-in option exists. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) explains “Some communities have asked for their own, separate tick-box, but for many reasons it has not always been possible to accommodate these requests. It is these communities who can now make best use of the ethnicity and national identity questions.”
The great disadvantage of this is that people may well not hear about the Cornish write-in option, and there will be an inevitable undercount. It is for this reason that people are asked to be pro-active in informing other people, within Cornwall, and those who are Cornish and live outside Cornwall, that all those who respond with ‘Cornish’ will be counted, and will contribute to a clearer idea of the population. It is especially important to pass this on to the elderly, those who are isolated, to people with busy lives, and to students who may be away from home.
In the 2011 Census questionnaire there are three questions to which the answer may well be for you, ‘Cornish’, and these will be:
15.What is your national identity?
16. What is your ethnic group?
18. What is your main language?
More information is available at: http://cornish-census2011.org/