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Having used a variety of social surveys, which would not have occurred were it not for the national census – this is concerning:

An Office for National Statistics consultation on the future of the UK census could spell the end of a 200-year-old social-science experiment. The risk is quite real: during our recent inquiry into proposed changes to the national survey, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, wrote to the Science and Technology Committee saying that costs were a concern and implying that utilising other data might allow the census to be scrapped.

Many groups, bodies and individuals rely on the census for their work. For example, the data are invaluable for social scientists, who follow people throughout their lives to gain insight into how society is changing; for central and local governments, which have to plan for school places, hospital provision, services for the elderly, etc; for local charities, which can compile information and judge where resources might be needed to address health, social and welfare problems; and for local historians, who can trace people back through the generations.

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