The 1921 Census of the United Kingdom, which took place on 19 June 1921, marked a significant milestone in the country’s census-taking history. This census is the most extensive one available to the public since records were first kept in 1801. It had several distinguishing features in comparison to previous censuses.
It was notable that, for the first time, the category of “divorced” was added as a marital status. The change in question was a direct result of the significant increase in divorce rates that occurred during and immediately after the First World War, which can be seen as a reflection of the shifting dynamics within society.
Additionally, the article highlighted the workplace of everyone as another significant distinction. This addition allowed researchers to frequently identify the colleagues of their relatives for the first time.
The 1921 Census coincided with the establishment of the Royal Air Force, making it a significant milestone in history. This census encompassed their overseas stations, army bases, and ships of the Royal Navy.
The 1921 Census offered a wealth of employment data, surpassing any previous census in terms of the level of detail it provided about professions and their various branches. The survey inquired about the materials individuals worked with, their place of work, and the name of their employer.
Unfortunately, certain questions were omitted from this census. In contrast to the 1911 Census, the current survey did not question the duration of the current marriage, or the overall number of children born or still alive from the marriage. Only the ages of children or stepchildren under 16 were requested.
Ultimately, the 1921 Census brought forth a range of fresh elements that mirrored the evolving societal norms and offered a more intricate glimpse into the post-World War I era in Britain. The census continues to be a valuable resource for researchers, historians, and genealogists.
We will have to wait until 2051 before seeing another UK census. This is because a fire in 1931 wiped out the census and the war prevented a census from being conducted in 1941. While we have lost two decades’ worth of important historical data owing to unanticipated events, alternatives such as the National Register of 1939 can fill up some gaps.
Visit National Archives for specifics on what was recorded in past censuses.
They also feature a whole calendar.