Thursday, 21 August 2008

Should the national census be scrapped?

The BBC have today carried a report, both on the Today programme on Radio 4 and on their news website, about the recommendations of the New Local Government Network, which has advocated the cancellation of the 2011 census, and all future censues, citing them as being too costly and useless for the purposes designed. Clearly the New Local Government Network does not like genealogists!

It is an interesting question though - does the decennial census still fulfill the needs of the Government as much as it did when first introduced in 1801, when the key issues on the table were Napoleon and food shortages? The Government requires information from the censuses in order to plan a national strategy with regard to the allegation of resources around the country, but the Network suggests that the same information can be obtained from a local head count based on GP surgeries, school places, electoral registers and tax records. One to ponder!

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