Around 97 per cent of households across England and Wales are believed to have completed Census 2021, with all local authorities reporting a response rate in excess of 90 per cent.

The online questionnaire closes on 17 May.

If people refuse to take part in the census, they could be taken to court and issued with a £1,000 fine and criminal record. The census non-compliance operation will begin on 25 May.

Around 350,000 households across Wales and England are now being invited to take part in the Census Coverage Survey (CCS).

Iain Bell, ONS’s deputy national statistician said the Census response rate so far had been “amazing” and comfortably exceeded the government’s target of 94 per cent.

“We’re in a great place as we begin the CCS,” he added. “Which is an important part of making sure the census produces the most accurate population statistics.

“It asks similar questions to the main census, just fewer of them, at addresses in a selection of postcodes across England and Wales.”

The CCS, which involves a 15-minute discussion with an interviewer, is voluntary and aims to improve the quality of the information gathered by the census and thus help in the planning and funding of local services.

Paper census questionnaires will remain available after 17 May through the census contact centre on freephone 0800 141 2021 in England and 0800 169 2021 in Wales.