Contract awarded to publish the 1921 Census online

We can today announce the contract to publish the 1921 Census online has been awarded to British & Irish family history website Findmypast, in association with the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The census, which was the first to be conducted following the introduction of the Census Act of 1920, will be published in early 2022.

Taken on 19 June 1921, it consists of more than 28,000 bound volumes of original household returns containing detailed information on close to 38 million individuals.

The project will see Findmypast capture digital images and transcribe text data in a way that will enable family historians across the globe to conduct meaningful searches of these important records for the very first time.

Neil Curtis, Finance and Commercial Director at The National Archives, said: ‘This is the most significant digitisation project The National Archives has undertaken to date with the 1921 census containing detailed information on close to 38 million individuals. As home to more than 1,000 years of history we are delighted to be working with Findmypast to open up this unique record collection to the world.’

This census provides greater detail than any previously published, as in addition to the questions asked in 1911, the 1921 returns also asked householders to reveal their place of employment, what materials they worked in and their employer’s name. Those aged 15 and older were required to provide information about their marital status, including if divorced, while for those under 15 the census recorded whether both parents were alive or if either or both had died.

To find out more about the 1921 census, visit family history website Findmypast. Or to find out more about the history of the census, visit our census hub.

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