Sunday, January 21, 2007

England and Wales 1911 census

Search the archives | 1911 census

The National Archives (England and Wales) has launched its Freedom of
Information request service to see entries from the 1911 Census. The service
has been launched online at as an
interim system. This service has been launched in advance of the digital
release of the records, as a response to the Information Commissioner’s
decision notice to address access to the 1911 Census.

The Information Commissioner ruled in December 2006 that The National
Archives could supply specific information from the 1911 Census in response
to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. However, the Information
Commissioner’s ruling also means that to protect personally sensitive
information the 1911 Census must remain closed as a whole document until

In response to this ruling The National Archives is hoping to start to provide
online access to the 1911 Census, through an approved partner, as early as
2009. Originally, the digital release was expected in January 2012. However,
the Information Commissioner’s decision allows The National Archives to
produce an online name and address search of the census in advance of this
date, with only the personally sensitive data remaining closed until 2012.


  • he 1921 census is not held by The National Archives and remains, like all post 1921 censuses in the custody of the Office for National StatisticsExternal website - link opens in a new window
  • Government policy of that the 1921 and subsequent censuses should remain closed for 100 years. Unlike the 1911 census the 1921 census was conducted under the 1920 Census Act, which is still in force and which contains a statutory prohibition on disclosure. This means that if any FOI requests are received for the 1921 census, the exemption found in S44 of the FOI Act will be invoked to maintain census confidentiality

IF you are a UK citizen please sign

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to enable better Freedom of Information access to census and other archives.


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