The Census in HistoryCensus taking in Britain buttonQuiz Non flash quiz
  Census taking first happened in the ancient world. The Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans counted their people to provide them with information for military and taxation purposes. The first time any kind of Census was taken in Britain was the Domesday Book of 1086. However, this was really to collect information on land rather than on people.  

  'The man who refuses to fill up the schedule and defies the enumerator' No further official attempts to count the population were made until the late 1700s. At that time, there was general worry about the rise in population and a fear that the country would not be able to feed itself. Since no one had any accurate information on the number of people living in the country, the government ordered that a Census take place. As a result, the first modern Census in this country took place in 1801.  


  Knowing how many people were living in the country was obviously helpful to the government but over time it was realised that having other kinds of information would also be of use. For example, knowing how many people were living in overcrowded conditions would help the government in making new laws to deal with the problem. Today the Census form asks for information on topics such as age, ethnic background, housing, size of family, work and transport so that the government and local authorities can draw up plans to meet the needs of all the population.  
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