Armed Forces question to be added to Census following Richmondshire-backed campaign

Photo: Sergeant Jamie Peters.

A question on service in the Armed Forces is to be added to the Census.

Richmondshire District Council supported a campaign led by The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland to see changes made for the 2021 census.

The Government has announced it will include a question to provide information on whether someone has served in HM Armed Forces.

The decision will provide the legion, as well as public bodies, local authorities, and other military charities with valuable information to ensure they can best meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.

It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain, who make up part of a wider ex-service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s.

However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group.

Council leader, Councillor Angie Dale said: “We have a large military population in Richmondshire but we believe we also have a large veteran population.

“Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans will help us make sure our services are tailored for serving personnel, veterans and their families.”

Charles Byrne, director general of The Royal British Legion, added: “This is an extremely proud moment for the Legion. After leading a successful campaign, the fact that a military question will be in the 2021 Census will significantly improve our understanding of the Armed Forces community which up until now has been very limited.

“It will ensure that we, along with other charities and service providers, can deliver the best service possible to them when and where it is needed most.

“This is something we have been striving towards for many years, it will have a huge impact on service personnel, veterans and their families well into the future, as the outcome will allow us to provide more effective care and support to those who are in need.

“We are delighted and are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported the campaign and helped us to achieve this historical success”

Residents can find out more about the  campaign by visiting, or by posting their own pledge of support on social media using the #CountThemIn hashtag.

‘Count Them In’ is part of  The Royal British Legion’s ongoing campaign work  to help champion the interests, welfare, and contributions of the Armed Forces Community.