You may have been visited by census officials by now, giving you your household and individual forms.

In total, more than 7000 census collectors will visit 1.8 million homes and deliver 6.4 million census forms (individual and dwelling). Census collectors will visit every dwelling in New Zealand, including cruise ships, prisons, hospitals and apartments.

This year you have the option of completing your census online, and Statistics NZ expects up to 2 million Kiwis to take this option.

The census is vital for key decision-making around everything from the allocation of Government spending to giving members of the public information so they can better run their business, voluntary group, or service in their community.

Census Day itself is Tuesday March 5.  If you have not received your forms before that date, you can ring 0800 CENSUS helpline.