Skip to content

History of the Census

Downloads

History does repeat itself - and the census proves that. The first modern census of 1801 was called amidst fears that Britain's growing population would outstrip the country's supply of food - and 200 years later countryside and food are as topical as ever.

There have been great changes in the census itself over the last two centuries - from the at times controversial questions on the forms to the methods of collecting, storing, processing and assessing the information.

The census is rich in history - both in the questions and the answers. They reveal the changes that have taken place during what is regarded as the biggest upheaval of the population in Britain's history.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.