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By Kathrin Levitan (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century
58 In the context of this focus on the entire social body, the statisticians of the 1830s called on the government to provide both national and local statistics. 60 The statisticians of the 1830s assumed that legislators would be among the first to benefit from the data that they were collecting and organizing, but that they were not the only ones who would find them of interest. ”62 The surveys of the statistical societies focused on a few pressing issues such as education, the conditions of the urban poor, and crime.
This meant that in a small community where the enumerator knew all of the inhabitants, he may have been able to fill out the form without requesting any information directly, and many people would likely have remained unaware that the census was being carried out. 33 The numbers of marriages were also listed for every year from 1754 (when Hardwicke’s Marriage Act made the registration of marriages in England and Wales a law) until 1800. The final abstracts included summaries for England, Wales, Scotland, and a separate one for London.
It was Graham who retained the census within feasible limits, while at the same time justifying expenditure and responding to charges of inaccuracy. Under Graham’s charge the census indeed seems to have become more efficiently managed. The years that it took to complete and print the results of the 1841 census were decreased in 1851, and despite the greater population and increased questions, the expense was not much greater. Finally, in 1861, the Scottish census was for the first time taken separately from the English and Welsh censuses.
A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century by Kathrin Levitan (auth.)