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What are censuses?

Local and family history A-Z > Censuses
  • Crowd of people A population census is a head-count of the population of a country on one particular night
  • The first UK census was established in 1801and a census has been taken every 10 years since then, except in 1941 when the country was at war
  • The early census returns from 1801 - 1831 do not contain much personal information as they were simply population counts. Most were later destroyed
  • The 1841 census gives details of name, age (but only within 5 years for those over 15), occupation and whether born in the county in which then living or in Ireland, Scotland or abroad
  • The 1851 - 1911 censuses give details of relationship to head of household (e.g. son, servant), condition (e.g. married, widow), age, occupation, birthplace, and from  1891, whether employer or employee

Page last updated: 16th February 2017