2021 Census to identify armed forces veterans

Published Friday, 31st July 2020

As of 2021, Veterans will be recognised for their Armed Forces backgrounds.

20,000 veterans in Worcestershire will now have their Armed Forces background recognised in the 2021 census.

The legislation has been finalised by Parliament after a long-standing campaign led by The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland.

The 2021 Census in England and Wales will now include a question to provide information on whether someone has served in HM Armed Forces, following legislation passed last month.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “ Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans in Worcestershire is a key part of making sure our services are tailored for serving personnel, veterans and their families. 

I welcome this historic change to include a question on the Armed Forces to the 2021 Census. The change comes about as a result of a particularly hard-fought and longstanding campaign, by the Royal British Legion, and I congratulate them on their determination to get the change made.” 

Councillor Rob Adams, Chair of Worcestershire’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership said: “I am delighted at this landmark announcement. It will ensure that as a local partnership of military charities and service providers in Worcestershire that we will be able to focus our work where it is needed most and deliver the best service possible to our veteran community. I know this news will be well received by the organisations who are committed to support those who have given so much for their country. 

It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain who make up part of a wider ex-Service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s. 

However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group. Including an Armed Forces question in the next census would provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community. 

Residents can find out more about the ongoing campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.rbl.org.uk/campaigns, or by posting their own pledge of support on social media using the #CountThemIn hashtag. 

‘Count Them In’ is part of The Royal British Legion’s ongoing campaign work to help champion the interests, welfare, and contributions of the Armed Forces Community. 

ENDS

For press enquiries or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact the Council's Communications team on 01905 766646 or emailing commsunit@worcestershire.gov.uk