Daily Archives: February 22, 2011


Philip Johnston writes in the Daily Telegraph about the 2011 Census: But there are so many other sources of demographic information these days – from supermarket loyalty cards to Government databases – that the census could usefully be pared back to its original purpose: a simple population count. Any additional required information can be obtained from other sources, such as tax and benefit records, driving licences and household surveys. Why should the state know your sexual proclivities or whether you worship Allah or are a Jedi knight? Past censuses are, of course, trawled by family historians for information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. The huge numbers visiting the 1911 census website demonstrate their popularity – but they are not a seamless historical source: the 1931 records were destroyed in a fire and there was no census in 1941 because of the war. In any case, future genealogists will […]

The census has become far too nosey