Bolton residents are being reminded that forms for the census have been posted out this week.
Census questionnaires have begun dropping through people's letter boxes in one of the biggest single mailouts the Royal Mail has handled.
The distinctive purple and white envelopes have begun their journey to around 26 million households in England and Wales and every household should have one by Friday, March 18.
Bolton Council is urging residents to help shape the future of their neighbourhoods by providing information for the 2011 Census.
Census organisers will then use this information to get a snapshot of the population of England and Wales as it stands on one day (March 27) – to get a consistent picture across the country.
The Census also helps the government and other decision-makers to build up detailed information about the make-up of local neighbourhoods and decide how much money to allocate different areas, based on the population of that area.
The amount of government funding that Bolton Council and its partner agencies receive for services over the next 10 years, and their planning for those services, is based on Census figures, from making sure there are enough school places to planning hospitals and other health facilities.
The Census can be completed online or by post. To find out more about the Census and what it means visit the Census website.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has a telephone helpline on 0300 0201 101 for people who want to know more about the Census or need assistance filling it in.
If you have not received the questionnaire by March 18, contact ONS to ensure you get one and can be counted. Please do not get in touch prior to this date.