Further supplementary memorandum by the
Office for National Statistics
The Census Helpline
We understand that over 2.6 million calls were
received on the helpline when it was operational between 1 April
and 30 June 2001. Can you provide an analysis showing the number
of calls received each week? Presumably the vast number of calls
were received at the end of April and early in May?
2001 Census Helplinenumber of calls
received per week England & Wales (1 April to 30 June 2001)
|Week Beginning||Calls to Helpline
The Response Rate
The Sub-committee would welcome any information you have
on the reasons for refusing to complete or return a Census form,
and the effects low response rates would have on Census outputs.
ONS estimates that 98 per cent of the expected number of
households returned a form. In the vast majority of cases, no
information is available on the reasons for non-response. Reliable
information is only available for those people prosecuted for
refusing to complete a formthese are mainly people refusing
as a matter of principle. But for the reasons given by Len Cook
and John Pullinger in their oral evidence to the Committee these
represent only a very small fraction of the total non-response.
The Census Coverage Survey was designed to measure the proportion
of non-responding households and people by geographical area.
This survey was deliberately designed to be much larger than in
previous Censuses in order to properly estimate differential underenumeration
and so enable reliable population estimates by area to be produced.
The One Number Census programme was set up to use these results
to adjust the output from the Census for underenumeration. With
the adoption of this improved statistical system, the effects
of underenumeration on Census output are minimised and the output
will be far more consistent than previously.
30 January 2002
Memorandum supplements oral evidence given by the National Statistician
on Wednesday 24 October 2001. See p. Ev 16. Back