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Census history

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The 2011 Census was the twenty-first full national census of the population, marking 210 years since the first census in modern times was carried out in Great Britain.

This section covers the origins of the census in the ancient world and describes the history of its development to the present day.

Census-taking in the ancient world

Brief history of how censuses were conducted in ancient times.

Early census-taking in England and Wales

A look at census-conducting between the 11th and 18th centuries.

The modern census

From the 18th century to now. How the census we know was formed.

200 years of the census

2001 celebrated 200 years of the census. Visit these pages to find out more.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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