By Kathrin Levitan (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century
123 The particulars that were considered indispensable in every state included name, sex, age, relation to the head of the household, civil condition, occupation, birthplace, and whether individuals were blind or deaf and dumb. Depending on the peculiarities of the country, it was also possible to obtain information about language, religion, education, sickness, and the insane. 124 Nonetheless, international discussion of the census contributed important elements to the debates within Britain. The National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, like the statistical societies of the 1830s, counted influential politicians, economists, and writers among its founding members.
A hierarchy of civil servants was also formed, in which the Registrar- General 26 A Cultural History of the British Census at the central office in London had control over a number of superintendent registrars in the provinces, who likewise were in charge of a number of registrars whose duty it was to conduct the actual registration on a local level. The RG began to publish weekly reports of mortality for London in 1840, and quarterly reports for the nation in 1842. The Office also issued special publications at times, such as a report on the cholera epidemic of 1848–1849.
Separately, censuses of religion and education would be taken. 117 Even with these more limited additions, Graham warned that the census would require a great deal more labor and money than that of 1841, because of both the increase in information and the larger population. For Graham, preparing for this more extended census meant communicating in advance with individuals involved with the army, the navy, the canals, the merchant shipping board, the prisons, the Poor Law board, and “A National Undertaking”: Taking the Census 35 lunatic asylums, all of which sent returns directly to the Census Office instead of being counted by enumerators.