Census: 2021 felt like 'going on a date in your 30s'

The first digital-first census is underway in Redbridge and will take place on Sunday, March 21

The first digital-first census is underway in Redbridge and will take place on Sunday, March 21. - Credit: PA

Did you enjoy the census? I hope you did because it doesn’t come round very often. Even the Olympics is every four years but we have to wait a full decade between census days.

We have had the duty, nay, honour, of filling in our forms. I did mine online and it wasn’t too bad at all. I think I’ve been asked more personal questions to log onto some coffee shops’ WiFi.

Yes, they could probably streamline it further. I think I was asked five times about who was staying with me on Sunday. It started to feel like I had been caught doing something I shouldn’t.

It soon settled into the classic questions probing me about if I own my own home and asking me about my job title. It felt like going on a date in your 30s.

Steve Allen.

Steve Allen enjoyed completing his census form - Credit: Steve Allen

On the topic of age, maybe I was being oversensitive but I noticed that it asked for my date of birth and in the next question double-checked my age. Was the system shocked at how old I am?


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I decided to pretend it asked twice because I look so young.

Or maybe it thought I acted young because when it asked “which of the following best describes your sexual orientation?”, I typed in: “Hopeful."

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I also enjoyed when it asked: “In the last seven days, were you doing any of the following?”

You can presume it’s a no. Unless you have an option for, “Watching Netflix and Facebook searching for exes,” then no, I wasn’t.

To ask that while also asking “have you achieved a qualification at degree level or above?” really felt like they were trying to make a point that I hadn’t achieved much with my life. At least I get round to doing things more than once a decade.

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