Census questionnaires should arrive through Lincoln people’s letterboxes from Tuesday, March 8, as the distinctive purple and white envelopes begin their journey to around 26 million households in England.
By census day on March 27 every household will have one.
2011 Census Director Glen Watson said: “Now that the forms are being mailed out we’re in great shape for the 2011 Census.
“Once people get their form they can, if they prefer, fill it in online by going to www.census.gov.uk.
“This will be quicker and it’s better for us because we won’t need to scan the forms and decipher all that handwriting.
“Of course if people want, they can still do it by hand.
“Completing the census form promptly and sending it back to us means no one will have to knock on your door to remind you.”
Census statistics enable the authorities to plan for the future for school places, housing, roads, emergency services and a host of other local services.
Andy Howlett, Census 2011 Manager for Lincoln, explained this is the only way Lincoln can get a fair share of government funding over the coming ten years.
“All government funding and grants [education, policing, health] are distributed around the country based on the estimate of the population size from the Census.
“If our population estimate is low, or if it doesn’t reflect the make up of the population, the allocation of central funding for local services won’t match the need.”
A council in South East England has calculated that each completed form is worth up to £5,000 in grants and funding to the area over the ten-year life of the census.
“The more people from Lincoln who fill it in, the fairer our share!” Howlett added.
The 2011 Census in Lincoln created around 50 jobs in the city, including census coordinators, collectors, and special enumerators.
Royal Mail’s Director of Field Operations, Paul Tolhurst said: “This is one of the single biggest postings Royal Mail will have dealt with and we are confident we can rise to the challenges it presents.
“Our people will be working hard over the coming weeks to deliver the 26 million census forms.”