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Mebyon Kernow demands Cornish tickbox on 2021 census
Mebyon Kernow is encouraging people to respond to an Office of National Statistics (ONS) consultation about the content of the 2021 census, and to demand a “Cornish” tickbox. The initial view of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is that questions on ethnicity and national identity should be included in the 2021 census, but would be unaltered from the last census.

In the 2011 census, question 15: “how would you describe your national identity?” including six tickboxes for answers: “English,” “Welsh,” “Scottish,” “Northern Irish,” “British,” and “Other, write in …”

In its initial response to the ONS, Mebyon Kernow stated:

“MK is extremely disappointed that the ONS has failed to include the option of Cornish within the relevant tickboxes, even through the Cornish were recognised as a national minority through the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in April 2014.

“The ONS will recall that the Government, in making the announcement, stated: ‘The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.’

“This was a landmark ruling, which it would be unjust and illogical for the ONS to ignore. It is clear to us that the ethnicity and national identity questions on the 2021 census must therefore treat the Cornish in the same manner as the 'UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish'.”

Further information:

In 2011, a total of 83,499 people from across Cornwall, England and Wales, used “write in” options to self-identify as Cornish on the last census. Within Cornwall itself, 73,200 people described themselves as Cornish on the form, equating to 13.8% of the population. This is comparable in statistical terms to the 14% of people in Wales who wrote-in Welsh in the 2001 census, prior to the inclusion of a “Welsh” tickbox in 2011.

The consultation lasts until 27th August 2015.

Further information can be found at:

Responses can also be sent to: The 2021 Census – Initial view on content for England and Wales, Office of National Statistics, Room 4300E, Segensworth Road, Titchfield, PO15 5RR; or via
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By Dick Cole. Published on 28th July 2015.

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