A 300 strong army of Census staff will start visiting households in Liverpool today that have not returned their forms.
They are part of a 35,000 strong national workforce, and will be out and about on the city’s streets until the end of April.
During the last Census, only 89 percent of households in Liverpool returned the document, compared to a national average of 94 percent.
It is estimated the city’s population was underestimated by over 10,000 people – meaning it lost out on over £150 million in funding over the decade.
The amount of money that public services such as the police, fire, ambulance, the NHS and the council receive is based upon the city’s population, so it is vital it is as accurate as possible.
Area manager for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Nicola Shaw, said: “Our staff will be able to help with any questions or problems people are having filling in the form, and provide replacement forms or additional sheets if residents need them.
“If people have already filled in the form but not yet posted it back, they can give it direct to the Census staff. “
All Census staff will wear an ID badge and they will carry a bag with the purple 2011 Census logo on it.
“If you ask them, they will be able to tell you all about the Census, but will only come into your home if invited.”
A national Census helpline is available on 0300 0201 101 for anyone who hasn’t completed their form, or who is concerned about opening their door to a member of Census staff.
By phoning this helpline you can either get someone to talk you through any difficulties you are having filling in your form or arrange an appointment for a member of the Census staff to come and see you at a time that suits you.
The personal information Liverpool residents provide on their Census forms is completely confidential and isn’t published or shared with any other organisation or government department.
Residents can either return their form by pre-paid post or complete it online.
The Census is compulsory and failure to send back the form can result in a fine of up to £1,000.