The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 7 January 2008:
As National Statistician I am replying to your recent question asking that no change is made in information requested about carers in the 2011 census return from the 2001 census return. (175296)
The value of the information on carers provided by the 2001 Census is well recognised. However, such a question is competing for space on the questionnaire with a number of other questions such as second residence, citizenship, year of entry, qualifications, industry, income and language.
Our current funding for the 2011 Census allows for 3 pages of questions per person. We are at present investigating the potential for obtaining increasing funding for a 4th page which would allow for the inclusion a question on carers.
A White Paper setting out the Government's proposals for the 2011 Census is scheduled to be published in autumn 2008. However, it will not be possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census until the consultation and question testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010.