2011 census v 1911 census

There's an interesting article on the BBC website today about the differences between the 1911 census and the 2011 census. Although it talks about the 'UK' census I'm sure it is referring to the 1911 census on England and Wales as there are some differences. Foremost at the moment is that the 1911 census for England and Wales has been released while we have to wait a couple of months for the Scottish one!

However, the differences it highlights between the 1911 and 2011 census are interesting e.g.

  • In 1911 the census fitted on one sheet of paper. This year it will fill up about 30 pages
  • The husband was automatically the Head of the household - not sure if that would be tolerated today!
  • The language used to describe infirmity e.g. imbecile, lunatic feels uncomfortable
Ultimately though the purposes of the censuses remain the same - it is important to find out how many people are in your country. What remains to be seen is that will 2011 be the last census undertaken in the UK?


Free Genealogy Guide said...

It all seems to make sense. The newer census asks for 30 times as much information, and it also indicates a comparable degree of growth in tolerance. It seems logical that the dearth of information contributed to the attitudes of sexism in limiting the head of household title only to males and narrow mindedness in calling people with mental illness imbeciles or lunatics.

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