UK Census

The UK census has been taken at ten yearly intervals since 1801 with the exception of 1841 however only those dating from 1841 have any significant value to the family historian. Earlier census returns between 1801 and 1830 was the responsibility of the Overseers of the Poor and the clergy and were more of a head count. The public however, are only given access to the records after 100 years for example, the 1901 census was published in 2002. The exception was the 1911 census which following a lobby to the government was released early. The 1939 register is not a census but does hold important information and does not fall under the census law. It has therefore been published by FindmyPast.

The dates of the available census were taken are as follows:-

10 March 1801 No longer exists except for a few fragments
27 May 1811 No longer exists except for a few fragments
28 May 1821 No longer exists except for a few fragments
30 May 1831 No longer exists except for a few fragments
06 June 1841 Available to the public online and National Archives
30 March 1851 Available to the public online and National Archives
07 April 1861 Available to the public online and National Archives
02 April 1871 Available to the public online and National Archives
03 April 1881 Available to the public online and National Archives
05 April 1891 Available to the public online and National Archives
31 March 1901 Available to the public online and National Archives
02 April 1911 Available to the public online and National Archives
19 June 1921 Available to the public online and National Archives
26 April 1931 Destroyed during WW2
29 September 1939 WW2 National Registration (not a census) available on Findmypast.co.uk

Transcriptions of census records can be found on free sites but the images (and you should check the image if at all possible for mistranscriptions) are available on subscription sites.