Kent Prepares for Census 2011

Census questionnaires are being posted to every household in Kent this week ahead of the 2011 Census on 27th March.

They will include questions on a wide range of areas including national identity, ethnic group, educational qualifications, job titles and state of health.

For the first time, questions about civil partnerships, second homes and recent migration will also be included, but there won't be any on income, sexual orientation or nature of disability.

Everyday life is shaped by the statistics and information gained from the Census, and helps local local authorities and the government plan services like schools, hospitals, housing, roads and emergency services.

It should take around 20 minutes for each household to complete the Census, and this year your responses can also be submitted online. Filling it out is compulsory, with the threat of a fine of up to £1,000 if it isn't done and returned.

All the forms will be gathered together and then a massive counting operation will get underway, involving some 35,000 workers. The first information from the Census is expected to be released in 2012, consisting of population estimates by age and sex for each local authority area, with more detailed statistics  released in 2013.

The Census is taken every ten years, and there have been quite a few changes in Kent since the last one in 2001.

  • In Thanet - the Margate skyline now includes the Turner Contemporary gallery and Thanet Earth opened for business in 2008.
  • In Canterbury - in 2001, works to build Whitefriars shopping area had been underway for just over a year
  • In Dover - the new seafront Esplanade opened in November 2010.
  • In Shepway - the Quarterhouse centre in Folkestone opened its doors in 2005.
  • In Ashford - 2009 saw the High Speed 1 rail service come to Ashford International and Shared Space opened in the town in November 2008.
  • In Swale - the new Sheppey Crossing opened in 2006. It reaches a height of 35m and replaced the King's Ferry Bridge, which has been in place since 1959
  • In Maidstone - Fremlin Walk shopping area opened in 2005.
  • In Tunbridge Wells - Gateway came to the town in 2008. It is one of seven Gateways in the county
  • In Tonbridge and Malling - the West Malling and Leybourne Bypass opened in November 2006.
  • In Dartford - the old Joyce Green Hospital was demolished in 2001 and the land has been used for the new Bridge Development.
  • In Gravesend - Shorne Woods Country Park has opened and the Gravesend Gurdwara has been built.
  • In Sevenoaks - the Kaleidoscope Library opened to the public in February 2007.

The average price of a terraced house in 2001 was £88,000, and unleaded petrol cost around 78p a litre.