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1921 UK Census on Findmypast

The 1921 Census of England and Wales is launching on 6 January 2022

Picture of Niall Cullen - Content Marketing Lead
Niall Cullen
27 October 2021

In partnership with The National Archives, the 1921 Census of England & Wales will be published exclusively online at Findmypast early next year.

From 6 January 2022 (00:01 GMT), you'll be able to search and explore the 1921 Census of England and Wales online, only at Findmypast. For the first time, the details of 38 million people captured in over 20 million colour images will be made available, enabling you to access the previously unseen archival material wherever you are in the world.

Get ready for the 1921 Census

The 1921 Census offers more detail than all previous England and Wales censuses. Individuals were asked not only about their occupations but also their place of work, employer, and were given ‘Divorced’ as an option for marital status. 

You'll not only discover where your ancestors were, who they were with and what they were doing but you will also be able to search by address to uncover the history of your local area or home and the stories of former occupants.

For more than two and a half years and counting, hundreds of Findmypast conservators, technicians and transcribers have undertaken the invaluable task of conserving, transcribing and digitising the 1921 Census in association with The National Archives and with the help and support of the Office for National Statistics.

It is the largest project ever completed by The National Archives and Findmypast, consisting of more than 30,000 bound volumes of original documents stored on 1.6 linear kilometres of shelving. 

Every page of the fragile physical documents had to be handled by a trained conservation technician who was responsible for a variety of delicate tasks including removing any objects that could damage the paper, correcting folds covering the text, teasing apart pages that had become stuck together, restoring tears and checking for and repairing other damage.

Once every page was examined, cleaned and repaired, our scanning team created an image of every page as well as any attachments and the front and back covers of each volume. Each image was then quality checked before being stored on a secure server. 

This highly anticipated launch is likely to be the last significant census release for England and Wales in many people’s lifetimes. Taken once a decade, the census remains secret for 100 years before being opened to the public. However, as the 1931 Census was destroyed in a fire at the Office for Works in 1942, and the 1941 Census was never captured owing to the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1921 Census will fill a huge gap for historians.

Visit our 1921 Census hub to find out more about this important record collection, the vast project to bring it online, what it reveals and how to access it.