The census 1801-1831
The 1801 census asked local officials to provide information on the number of inhabited and uninhabited houses in the parish and
how many families occupied them; the number of people in the parish and their employment; and numbers of baptisms, burials and marriages.
A similar format was followed for the censuses of 1811, 1821 and 1831, with the addition of further questions.
In 1811, the enumerators were asked to give more information about the reasons houses were unoccupied, so that the prosperity of the district could
be more accurately gauged. In 1821 a question relating to age was asked, in order to assess numbers of men able to bear arms, and to improve the
tables on which life assurance was based. More detailed questions on occupations from 1831 provided the government with economic information.
The census 1841-1901
The 1851 census was also the first to record the numbers living on vessels in inland waters or at sea (including the Royal Navy and merchant navy),
those serving abroad with the forces and with the East India Company, and British subjects residing overseas.
Only minor changes to the census forms were made over the next 50 years.
In 1871 people were asked whether any member of the household was an 'imbecile or idiot' or 'feeble-minded', a question that was retained until 1911.
In 1871 and 1881, people were asked whether they were unemployed - a question not then repeated until 1931.From 1891, each member of the household was
asked whether they were an employer or employee and in 1901 a question asking whether people were working at home was introduced.
The only other change made in this period was the introduction of questions relating to languages spoken in Scotland (from 1881) and in Wales (from 1891).