Will you identify as Cornish on St Piran’s Day?

Tomorrow, as you all know, is St Piran’s Day, normally marked in Bude by a walk and other events but this year stifled by social distancing due to Covid-19.

However, Cornwall Council is urging those who identify as Cornish to make their mark by saying so on the 2021 Census survey, which launched on 1 March ahead of Census Day on 21 March.   

People here in Cornwall and beyond who want to identify as Cornish on the Census will be able to do so by ticking the box marked ‘other’ under the nationality, ethnicity and language questions and then writing or typing in ‘Cornish’.   

Cornish will also be referenced in the Census 2021 online form guidance as an example of a national identity that can be entered by selecting the ‘other’ option.   

Leveryn dhedha agan bos Kernowyon – Let’s tell them we’re Cornish

From Cornwall Council’s website:

Julian German, Leader of Cornwall Council says: “We’re supporting the ONS in their campaign to get everyone to complete the Census. But our particular focus is on encouraging those that identify as Cornish, whether they live here or not, to indicate that when they complete the Census on or before 21 March.  

“If you want your voice to be counted as Cornish when you complete the 2021 Census this month, you can do so and help influence how services are planned and funded in Cornwall, and to provide information about how the Cornish are performing as a group across the country.”  

There is also a language question where you may record your language as Cornish if you are a Cornish speaker.  

Councillor German adds: “We campaigned hard for the Cornish to get a tick box on the Census but this was not forthcoming even though the Cornish were recognised as national minority in 2014 and so should be treated the same as the other UK Celtic peoples – the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.  However, as with the Census in 2011 you are able to use the type-in/write-in option on a number of questions to identify as Cornish and we’re urging everyone to share that message and take that opportunity.”  

In 2011 59,456 people across England and Wales chose to record their nationality or ethnicity as Cornish by using the write-in option. 52,793 of those identifying as Cornish lived in Cornwall at the time of the Census.  

The ONS will, for the first time, produce an analytical report on the population who identify as Cornish and how their health, housing, work and education differs from those who do not identify as Cornish.  


St Piran Flag, Cornwall

St Piran Flag, Cornwall

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