History Abridged: The census

Historian feature

Published: 28th June 2021

The census

History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music).

Most of us are aware that 2021 was a census year for Britain (with the exception of Scotland, who have postponed it due to Covid-19), but for historians census information is an essential part of carrying out historical research. 

Coming from a Latin term, a census is a systematic count of people with information for official purposes. Most though not all modern governments carry out some form of a census, rendering them an essential way of making and assessing international comparisons... 

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