1921 census out next year

Next year (2022) will see the publication of the 1921 census.

The information gathered that year was the first following the introduction of the Census Act of 1920, which made changes to the type of information that could be gathered. Taken on 19 June 1921, the census contains information on almost 38 million individuals. It included detailed questions on education and the first that allowed individual householders to submit separate confidential returns.

The 1921 census revealed that the population of England and Wales increased by 1.8 million, compared to 1911. This increased was only half that of the years from 1901 and 1911, and the lowest increase since the first census, which took place in 1801. The 1.8 million figure demonstrates the impact of World War One.

What’s in the census?

The 1921 census holds information on every household, vessel, institution and overseas residencies that were part of England and Wales in 1921, plus the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

It also lists the merchant ships in the waters of England and Wales, all ships of the Royal Navy and army and RAF units stationed overseas. This included units on occupation duties following World War One or based in territories newly under British administration because of the war, such as Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq).

The 1921 census required those aged 15 and older 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.

Again, this field shows the impact of World War One with a greater proportion of widows recorded than in 1911, and 730,000 children recorded as “Father dead” compared to 260,000 with “Mother dead”.

Additional language question

The census surveys in Wales and the Isle of Man included an additional language question, asking if each person spoke Welsh (or Manx), English, or both, while the armed forces survey asks if the person can speak Welsh or Gaelic (in addition to English).

The website Findmypast has been selected as The National Archives’ commercial partner to make the 1921 Census of England & Wales available online in early 2022.

Danny Curran, Finders CEO and founder, said: “We’re very excited about the publication of the 1921 census. Census results are key documents for us because they’re crucial in supporting our work to trace the rightful beneficiaries of unclaimed estates.

“In addition, 2021 is a census year. We encourage everyone to fill in the census survey, which is required by law. Not only is the census a vital tool for genealogists, but the snapshot it provides is used by policy makers to determine where money/services need to be. The census will take place on Sunday 21 March in England and Wales.”

Finders International trace missing beneficiaries to estates, properties and assets.  To see a full list of our services, please visit our website.  Alternatively, you can contact us via telephone +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]