The 2020 Space Census is the first national survey of the UK space workforce.Complete the Census
The primary purpose of this Census is to get baseline demographic data for the UK space sector, as none currently exists.
The results will inform national space policy and sector strategy, and be used to improve what it’s like to work in the sector, tackle discrimination, and make the sector more attractive to new recruits.
Existing evidence suggests that the space sector has diversity and inclusion problems, particularly around gender and ethnicity, but this evidence is limited. Without a good baseline it is hard to determine what interventions should be made, measure if these are having any effect, and identify which are the most effective.
What does the Census ask about?
The Census is split into two sections: About You, and About Your Job. The first section covers demographic questions like gender, ethnic background, and sexuality, as well as experiences of discrimination. The second section covers your qualifications and route into the sector. All the questions are optional.
How long is it?
The Census takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. Almost all of the questions are closed questions that are quick and easy to answer. There are opportunities to provide some more detail for people who have the time.
Is it anonymous?
The Census is anonymous and all questions are optional. You can answer all, some, or none of the questions. We will make no attempt to identify you, but you can optionally provide your email address at the end if you are interested in being involved in follow-up studies.
How will the data be used and shared?
Once the Census is complete, we will analyse the data to look for trends and test some hypotheses. The results of this analysis will be published in one or more reports, alongside recommendations for actions that the sector can take to make it a better place to work.
Who is being surveyed?
The Census is for people working in the UK space sector. This includes astronomers, satellite engineers, artists, earth observation specialists, marketers, recruiters, educators, lawyers, rocket scientists, and journalists, and more. As long as your work is related to space in some way, you are welcome to take part. The census is open to academia, including PhD students, but we are not including undergraduate students, amateur astronomers, or space enthusiasts who do not work in the sector. If you think you might be part of the UK space sector, please complete the Census.
Who is conducting it?
The Census is being conducted by the Space Skills Alliance, a not-for-profit research organisation focused on addressing skills issues within the UK space sector, on behalf of the Space Growth Partnership’s Space Skills Advisory Panel, which informs national policy and sector strategy, feeding directly into the Space Sector Council and the UK Space Agency. It is funded by the University of Leicester.
How were the questions decided?
The questions were agreed by the Space Skills Alliance and the Space Skills Advisory Panel’s diversity working group, and are designed to answer questions about what steps should be taken to improve the UK space sector.
The wording of certain sensitive questions on topics such as gender identity, ethnicity, and disability, follows best practice set out by relevant groups such as Stonewall, the Office for National Statistics, and the Washington Group on Disability Statistics.
How is this different from the Size & Health survey and the Space Sector Skills Survey?
The Size & Health of the UK Space Industry report and the Space Sector Skills Survey are surveys of companies, and focus on economic metrics such as revenue, exports, and R&D spending, and sector skills needs.
The Space Census is a survey of individuals, and focuses on demographic metrics such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The three are complementary but separate, and all feed into national space policy.
Results from the Census
The Census ran from 7th October to 31st December 2020. It has now closed, and the first results were published on Tuesday 9th March 2021 Further reports are planned for later in the year.