24 July 2020
Group of people holding signs stating Count Them In with the Royal British Legion logo

Former Armed Forces personnel will for the first time be able to identify themselves as Veterans in the next Census.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: "Allowing Veterans to identify themselves in the next Census is a key step in ensuring that all of government provides the best support possible."

The decision to include a new Armed Forces question on the 2021 census will provide public bodies, local authorities and charities with better data and understanding allowing for more targeted and efficient support.

Deirdre Newham, Chair of the Northamptonshire AFC partnership, said: "Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of Veterans in Northamptonshire is a key part of making sure services within the county are tailored for the Armed Forces community. I welcome this historic change to include a question on the Armed Forces to the 2021 Census."

There are an estimated 2.4m Veterans living in Great Britain, who make up part of a wider Armed Forces community that also includes serving personnel, Reservists, spouses, partners, dependent children and widows. Taken together, it is estimated that the Armed Forces community makes up approximately one in ten of the UK's general population. Yet despite this, comparatively little is known about where they are or what the needs might be of this significant group because of limited official data.

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