Legion calls for census change to include Armed Forces community
From the census, we know that 741,000 people cycle to work, 106,000 people live in a caravan and over 170,000 claim their religion to be Jedi Knights; yet we know almost nothing about our Armed Forces community.
“WE COUNT ON THEM, SO COUNT THEM IN”
The Royal British Legion has today called for Government and Parliament to make sure that new questions on the Armed Forces community are included in the next UK Census, so we can understand exactly how large the community is and respond to the needs of these people.
It is estimated that there are currently between 6.5 and 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community (serving men, women, veterans and their families) living in the UK - about a tenth of the population. However, little is known about the exact numbers, locations and needs of these people.
Knowing exactly how many people in the UK are part of this community would help charities and public bodies deliver the best services they can for these people. In doing so, they will fulfil the Armed Forces Covenant promise that no one should face disadvantage as a result of their Service.
“As a nation we promise to provide lifelong care and support for those who serve our country, yet we currently know more about the UK’s ‘Jedi Knight’ population than we do about our own Armed Forces community. By adding questions to the 2021 UK Census, we can help public bodies and charities to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community where they are needed most. It’s time to make the next census count for our Armed Forces community. We count on them, let’s count them in.”Chris Simpkins, Director-General of The Royal British Legion
Show your support for our campaign by contacting your local MP and using the #CountThemIn hashtag on social media.
To launch the #CountThemIn campaign, an art project featuring four veterans painted into their surroundings, highlights how they are invisible amongst the general population in the current census. The picture in the banner above shows veteran Darren Fuller hidden against the Houses of Parliament in London.