The national census, which occurs every ten years, is designed to record a snapshot of a moment in time.
The mandatory questionnaire – which was filled out yesterday by millions of people – includes questions such as “where do you mainly work?” or “what is your job?”
For thousands of people, this has changed drastically in the last year, either because they changed roles or now find themselves working from a kitchen table or their bedroom.
The Office for National Statistics has said that it wants answers that reflect the current reality – but some errors may have to be accounted for.
One woman was left in hysterics after her mum accidentally changed her brother’s career while filling out the form.
Her tweet racked up nearly 50,000 likes and thousands of retweets.
She wrote: “My mum’s in a panic because she filled in the census for my little brother and listed his occupation as ‘barrister’ rather than ‘barista’ and I am being no help at all because I can’t stop laughing.”
Naturally, people on Twitter had helpful suggestions on how to fix this.
One person replied: “Your brother will just need to change his profession. That will fix it.”
Another comfortingly advised: “Well, if she gets done for lying on the census, at least your little brother can defend her in court.”
The full details of the census are kept under lock and key for 100 years – so his ancestors might be intrigued to see what happened.
One person joked: “Don’t worry. It’ll give future generations some fun trying to work out why great great great uncle fell from grace and got disbarred between 2021 and 2031 -or it may inspire to become a barrister.”
Meanwhile, lots of people on social media sharing the errors they encountered while filling out the form.
One woman tweeted: “MY GRANNY ACCIDENTALLY SAID SHE WAS BISEXUAL IN THE CENSUS IM SCREAMING.”
Another said: “Filling in the Census was like writing a novel, I imagine. Had to complete for my partner and I and 7 children, I am pretty sure I accidentally named my 16 yr old as my 14 yr olds parent.”
And a 147-year-old immortal wrote: “I’ve accidentally put my date of birth as 1874 on the census..”
On Twitter, lots of people suggested alternative census questions that should have been included.
One woman suggested: “Have you ever waited in a queue that turned out not to be a queue?”
Another said: “Do you call the ceiling light in your front room the big light?”
One crucial question that definitely should have been added was: “Does Jackie Weaver have the authority?”