Students who are at holiday addresses rather than term time addresses due to the covid lockdown will skew census data, warned Daniel Zeichner MP in the House of Commons.
This could lead to the city missing out on vital funding.
The Census is due to take place on Sunday 21 March but many of the 35000 University of Cambridge and ARU undergraduates will not be in the city to be counted.
The census provides information that government uses to develop policies, plan and run public services. Crucially the count of the population on 21 March helps the Government to calculate the size of grants it allocates local authorities and health authorities
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Anyone walking through Cambridge will tell you the city is completely different from usual. University students are missing, plus there are other short term shifts in population. This isn’t a normal time. So it’s a very strange time to take a once in a decade person count. That’s why we need guarantees that the government will take the Cambridge pandemic population shortfall into account going forward. Because people will be back and they’ll want places to live, need to visit their GPs and have their bins collected! It’s vital that we don’t miss out on future funding due to a census undercount.”