The UK population census will ask the question of gender identity for the first time this year. According to the authorities, this information is necessary to have official data on the issue.
In addition to a question on legal sex, gender identity will be part of the next UK census. “We will ask for the first time an optional question later in the questionnaire on gender identity,” the professor and chief statistician of the country, Ian Diamond, told the BBC, specifying that it would only address for over 16s.
The census is scheduled for March 21 everywhere in the UK except Scotland, where it has been postponed to March 2022. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, it will mostly take place online.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (ONS), this information is necessary because “there are currently no official figures for those who identify with a gender other than the sex registered at birth”.
In draft recommendations released in December, Scotland’s chief statistician Roger Halliday told him that the question of biological sex should no longer be asked, except in areas where it is relevant such as medical care, because that it violates the privacy of those who identify with another gender.
A position that Ian Diamond does not share: “The question on sex has been the same since 1801 and we have […] since that period infringed on the privacy of anyone. “
The last census in the UK was in 2011. Several countries, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, have added a “third sex” to their census for transgender people.