Sunday, 21 February 2021

Be Cornish on the 2021 census

It is exactly four weeks to census day (Sunday 21st March) is census day, though people will be able to fill in the online form from early in March.

This represents an  opportunity for Cornish people to formally record their national identity.

The Government has again refused a Cornish tick-box, but the Office of National Statistics has allocated a census code to “Cornish” and individuals will be able to evidence their Cornishness through write-in options.

The ONS has also promised that – for the first time – they will produce a full analytical report on the population who identify as Cornish, covering topics which will include health, housing, work and education.

Question 14 will ask: “What is your national identity?” Tick-boxes offered are “British,” “English,” “Welsh,” “Scottish,” “Northern Irish” and “Other.” This means that if you wish to record your nationality as Cornish, you can tick the “Other” box and write in “Cornish” in the space provided.

The ONS is keen that as many people fill out the census online as possible, and the online version will contain a range of prompts. One positive piece of news is that, for the national identity question, the supporting text will give “Cornish” as one of the examples of a “Other” nationality.

Question 15 will ask: “What is your ethnic group?” Five sections will describe a range of broad ethnic backgrounds. For example, under “White,” the options are a collective “English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British,” “Irish,” “Gypsy or Irish Traveller,” “Roma,” and “Other.” Other ethnic groups include “mixed or multiple,” “Black” or "Asian." To record yourself as Cornish, you will need to pick the section which you think best represents your broad ethnic background, tick the “Other” box and write in “Cornish” in the space provided.

Question 10 will ask where individuals were born, while Question 18 will ask: “What is your main language?” In both these cases, you can also use “Other” boxes to record yourself as Cornish-born or as a Cornish speaker, if that is appropriate.

This census represents an opening to ensure that our Cornishness is recorded. Please speak with your family, friends and neighbours to ensure that they take full advantage of the various write-in options.

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