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Public cooperation with the Household Expenditure Survey, 1953-1954
09 January 2014
The Household Expenditure Enquiry of 1953-1954 was the first large-scale enquiry into household expenditure and income in the UK since the Family Budget Enquiry of 1937-1938. It was intended to cover 20,000 households and the Ministry of Labour and National Service (MLNS) proudly proclaimed that public cooperation with the survey had 'exceeded our most optimistic hopes'. But just how compliant were members of the public, and were there complaints about government intrusion? The data in the returns have been fully opened up to researchers thanks to the British Living Standards Project delivered by the University of Sussex.
Mark Dunton is Principal Records Specialist in contemporary history, and has been The National Archives' media spokesperson on the annual release of government files since 2006. He has a BA in History from Exeter University, an MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London and an MA in War Studies from King's College London. His research interests include post-1945 British political, social and economic history and the policies of the Heath government in the early 1970s.
Sponsored by the Friends of The National Archives.
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