Census 2021

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 26, 2022, 6:33

Census 2021 is a Government initiative to demarcate the different constituencies in India, ensure smooth administration, and help in the planning of important welfare schemes.

It is the 16th Census being held in India since it was first taken in 1881 when India was under British Rule and administered by British Viceroy Lord Mayo. The census is held every 10 years.

How Will Census 2021 be Conducted?

For Census 2021, a total of 330,000 enumerators (for calculating the total Indian population) would be engaged and would use their smartphones to submit the data electronically. The enumerators could also submit the data through a paper option.

The house list (for computation of total headcount per family) was to be prepared between April and September 2020. Enumeration would take place in February 2021, with another revision round in March 2021.

While most states would have March 1, 2021, as the reference date (for the population count), for certain other parts of India, the reference date would be October 1, 2021. These include Jammu and Kashmir, along with parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, announced in September 2019 that Census 2021 would be a completely digital process. It would be conducted in 16 languages. Around Rs. 3768 crores was allocated by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in February 2021 for Census 2021 in the Union Budget.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the census counting has been shifted to 2022. Preliminary results should be available in 2023-24.

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What Information is Included in the House Listing for Census 2021?

The following information is included in the house listing for Census 2021:

  • Building Number
  • Household Number
  • Number of married couples living in the house
  • Mobile Number
  • Car/Van/Jeep
  • Number of dwelling rooms
  • Total persons in the house
  • Gender of the head of the house
  • House ownership status

Census 2021 - Alternate Timeline

An alternative timeline for Census 2021 was given in March 2021 to a parliamentary panel by the Home Ministry.

The first phase of the project, which includes data on housing conditions, household assets, and household amenities, would be completed in 2021-22.

The second phase of the project where data on religion, demography, Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, migration and fertility, economic activity, literacy and education, and language would be completed in 2023-24.

Provisional data on the Census 2021 would be provided before the 2023-24 general elections. It would take several years for more details like village-level data after the initial key information is released.

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Census 2021 - Impact of Alteration of Boundaries

District boundaries and those relating to civil and police units will not be altered according to the direction of the Union Government till June 2022 for Census 2021. This is a compulsory requirement that is part of the census enumeration.

The date for conducting the census has been put on hold, including the updation of the National Population Register (NPR). Due to the freezing of the boundaries, the Census 2021 is not likely to be held before October 2022.

Freezing of boundaries was first ordered between January 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

Census 2021 is a decennial exercise that was supposed to be held in March 2021 for the enumeration of the population of India. It has been postponed due to the pandemic and may start in October 2022.

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FAQs on Census 2021

Q.1. What is the definition of Census 2021?

Census 2021 is part of a decennial (once in every 10 years) exercise for estimating the population.

Q.2. Why was Census 2021 postponed?

Census 2021 was postponed due to COVID-19.

Q.3. What Information is included in Census 2021?

Information including building number, housing number, and members in a household are included in Census 2021.

Q.4. How Many Districts are Included in Census 2021?

A total of 740 districts are going to be included in Census 2021.

Q.5. When is Census 2021 likely to start?

Census 2021 is likely to start in October 2022.