Census Act 1920
|Long title||An Act to make provision for the taking from time to time of a Census for Great Britain or any area therein and for otherwise obtaining Statistical Information with respect to the Population of Great Britain.|
|Chapter||10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 41|
|Territorial extent||England and Wales, and Scotland|
|Royal Assent||16 August 1920|
|Related legislation||Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969|
The Census Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 41) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Providing for a census for Great Britain (or any subsidiary part of it), on a date to be fixed by Order in Council, it remains the primary legislation for the provision of the UK census in England, Scotland, and Wales. A minimum of five years is required between censuses.
Parts of the Act
- Power to direct taking of census.
- Duty of Registrar-General to carry out census, and provision for expenses.
- Regulations with respect to proceedings for taking census.
- Preparation of reports and abstracts.
- Preparation of statistics in respect of periods between one census and another.
- Provision with respect to local census.
- Expenses of local authorities.
- Application to Scotland.
- Short title and extent.
The Schedule to the Act lists the 'Matters in respect of which particulars may be required'. They are:
- Names, sex, age.
- Occupation, profession, trade or employment.
- Nationality, birthplace, race, language.
- Place of abode and character of dwelling.
- Condition as to marriage, relation to head of family, issue born in marriage.
- Any other matters with respect to which it is desirable to obtain statistical information with a view to ascertaining the social or civil condition of the population.
Religion was added at 5A in the Schedule by the Census (Amendment) Act 2000 (c. 24) in England and Wales, and the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2000 in Scotland. The 2000 amendment also added a clause in Section 8 of the 1920 Act to make the provision of religion optional:
- no person shall be liable to a penalty under subsection (1) for refusing or neglecting to state any particulars in respect of religion
- Oliver & Boyd's new Edinburgh almanac and national repository for the year 1921, p. 228
- Census in the United Kingdom
- Census Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 (c. 8 N.I.), similar legislation for Northern Ireland
- Census (Confidentiality) Act 1991 (c. 6), amendments to Section 8
- Official text of the Census Act 1920 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
- Census 2001 - Legislation and the role of Parliament National Statistics
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