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Census Records

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) which of the post-1920 decennial population census records for England and Wales are stored in the Central Repository at Hayes, Middlesex; and how much shelf space each of them occupies; [108532](2) whether post-1920 census record services will be relocated to the Midlands within the next two years; [108550](3) what plans he has to

(a) digitise and (b) microfilm post-1920 census records. [108534]

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell to Mr. John Taylor, dated 14 April 2003:

The Registrar General for England and Wales has been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary questions on post-1920 Census records. I am replying in his absence. (10532, 10534,108550)
Under present legislation the 1921 Census returns will become open to public inspection on the first working day of 2022. The Office for National Statistics and the National Archives (Public Record Office) will work together on plans to make these returns available to the public nearer the time, in the light of the available technological options. The long-term plans for methods of storing Census records will be the responsibility of the National Archives once the forms are transferred to their custody.
None of the post 1920 Census records are currently digitised or microfilmed except for those for 2001. For this Census the forms were scanned and digitised by the Office for National Statistics as part of the processing of the results. The 2001 Census records have been microfilmed and the paper copies destroyed.
All of the extant post-1920 Census decennial population census records for England and Wales remain in our keeping, and none are stored at the Central Repository. There are no plans to relocate census records to the Midlands.