Military veterans are to be counted in census for the first time

Military veterans are to be counted in census for the first time in a bid to increase understanding of their needs

  • Forces veterans to be counted in census after campaign by Royal British Legion
  • Hopes that including former troops will increase understanding of their needs
  • National census is once in decade survey of households in England and Wales

Forces veterans are to be counted for the first time in this year’s census following a campaign by the Royal British Legion.

The RBL hopes that including former troops will increase understanding of their needs, leading to more effective policies and services.

Last night the charity’s director general Charles Byrne said: ‘There is currently very little definitive information about where veterans are located or what their needs may be.

Forces veterans will be counted in this year’s census following a campaign by the Royal British Legion. (Stock image)

‘So this question will have a huge impact on service personnel, veterans and their families well into the future.

‘Given its significance, we would urge all members of the Armed Forces community, both regular and reservists, to record their status.’

The national census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once in a decade survey of all households in England and Wales. 

It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

The inclusion of ex-military is part of the Government’s goal to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Former defence minister Mark Francois last night welcomed the move, saying it would ‘help us to understand the challenge of providing veterans with the support they truly deserve’.

Mark Francois, former defence minister, welcomed the move, saying it would ‘help us to understand the challenge of providing veterans with the support they truly deserve’

This year’s poll, on March 21, will shed light on the needs faced by different communities to inform government policy and funding decisions.

Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a unique access code next month. 

Paper questionnaires will also be available on request.

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