Sikhs and the 2021 Census: Gill

Many within the Sikh community have long campaigned for the inclusion of a Sikh tick-box response to the ethnic group question in the ten-yearly Census, claiming that its absence in the past has led to a significant undercounting of the Sikh population.  The Office for National Statistics did not recommend the inclusion of a Sikh ethnic tick-box for the 2011 Census and maintained that position for the forthcoming 2021 Census – and that decision was reflected in the Census (England and Wales) Order 2020. In R (Gill) v Cabinet Office [No.3] [2020] EWHC 2931 (Admin), Mr Amrik Singh Gill, Chair of the Sikh Federation UK, challenged that decision. This was his third judicial review challenge to the absence of an ethnic tick-box for Sikhs: see also R (Gill) v UK Statistics Authority [2019] EWHC 3407 (Admin).

The 2011 Census had included a Sikh tick-box in the voluntary question on “religious affiliation” [12]; however, there was no Sikh tick-box under the “ethnic group” question, though there was a write-in option [13], and 6,862 chose to identify themselves as ethnically Sikh [14]. Continue reading