Every UK citizen will be surveyed for the census in March 2011
The data for the next census will be gathered in Manchester, with the creation of 1,300 jobs.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the centre of the information-gathering operation by UK Data Capture will be at Trafford Park.
The England and Wales census is planned for March 2011, but recruitment for the two-year process is expected to start this summer.
The Trafford Park location was selected after a nationwide search by the firm.
Stephen Meyler, director of UK Data Capture Limited, said: "This is an exciting project for UK Data Capture and we are looking forward to fulfilling our role in this vital and important programme, with Manchester as our base," he said.
The census provides an estimate of the population of England and Wales and is carried out every ten years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The statistics derived from the census are used to allocate public money on local services like education, transport and health.
They are also used by policy makers in central and local government to understand the needs of communities.
Scotland will also undertake a census in March 2011.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the North West Development Agency, said the plans were a "significant investment" for Trafford.
In March 2011 each household in England and Wales will receive a questionnaire, either through the post or delivered by hand.
The paper questionnaires that are completed and returned by post will be delivered to the secure Manchester site to be processed.