A registration district in the United Kingdom is a type of administrative region which exists for the purpose of civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths and civil partnerships. It has also been used as the basis for the collation of census information.
Origin and development of registration districts
England and Wales
Registration districts in England and Wales were created with the introduction of civil registration on 1 July 1837 and were originally co-terminous with poor law unions. Their existence as autonomous entities came to an end in 1930, when the relevant administrative county or county borough was made responsible. A subsequent series of reforms of local government has resulted in the responsibility today being held by the relevant county council, unitary authority, metropolitan district, or London borough.
Each district is divided into sub-districts, each of which has a registrar responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, and deaths in his or her area. Overall responsibility for a district is held by a superintendent registrar.
Registration districts are not always co-terminous with county boundaries, and so in the past were grouped into "registration counties" for statistical purposes. They remained in use for the census from 1851 to 1911.
Registration districts in Scotland came into being with the introduction of civil registration there in 1855; away from the cities their boundaries usually coincided with civil parishes. They still exist today in their own right and in many places do not coincide with the current council areas; commonly both geographically large and densely populated Council Areas will have several registration districts, each with a registrar within easy reach of most residents. The Local Electoral Administration and Registration Services (Scotland) Act 2006 now allows births and deaths to be registered with any registrar in Scotland, rather than solely in the registration district where the event occurred or in the registration district of usual residence.
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- Status details for Registration District (A Vision of Britain)
- Registration Districts in England and Wales (1837-1974) (GENUKI/UK BMD)
- General Register Office for Scotland: List of Parishes and Registration Districts
- Analysis of the Response to the second Consultation on Proposals to Improve and Modernise the Registration Service in Scotland (Scottish Executive)