Category Archives: census

UK Census Time

Where were you when the censuses were taken?

Here in the UK, we have had a census taken every 10 years since 1801 (not that I’ve been around since then!) which has taken a snapshot of our lives for others to see. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take a peek at what our future descendants will see..

1991 – I was 6 years old, living with my parents and 2 brothers. Although my sister did join us that year, I wonder if it was after the census was taken? I’m pretty sure my Dad would have filled in the forms. We’ll find out in 2063!

2001 – I was 16 years old, a high school student, living with my parents, my 2 brothers and my younger sister. I think I remember helping my Dad fill out the forms at the time. We’ll find out in 2073!

That’s only 2 censuses that I’ve lived through and another one is to come. As we all know from the TV adverts that are popping on all channels, the 2011 census is set to take place on 27 March 2011. This year there’s even an option of completing the form online and I understand the form is available in more languages which is costing us lots of money. Even though most people seem to be thinking of how costly it all is and it’s value, I’m really excited about it (which shows the genealogist in me!).

Do you consider the census to be a valuable tool? Does the information from the censuses give you much of a family history? Or do we need personal accounts of people’s lives to really understand our ancestors? Ofcourse, the census data will provide us with dates and names but do we need to record our lives in other ways?

What do you think? Post a comment or email me at pakistani_g[at]


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Census this year?

I’ve been following news of when the Pakistan Census would take place and have written about it in previous posts. See ‘Census and Yr2051’ and ‘Pakistan National Census’.

It had been planned to be taken in 2009 and then postponed to the end of 2009.. which seems to be a list of delays.

Now, The Dawn reports that the census will (hopefully) be taking place in April 2010:

“Chairing the meeting of first task force on census, Mr Khizar Hayat Khan said that in the first phase house listing operation would be held in April 2010, whereas in the second phase population census would be carried in October 2010.”

Across the border, news of a census taking place in India have also been reported:

“India began a yearlong census of its billion-plus population Thursday in which it plans to photograph and fingerprints every citizen over the age of 15 to create a national database and then issue its first national identity cards.”

And if you’re wondering when the UK will hold its census, you have one more year to wait..

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Pakistan National Census

I just read a news article that mentioned the national census which was planned to take place this year has been postponed to the end of the year due to problems in NWFP. Apparently this census has been postponed twice before so this is the third time. The displacement of so many people and the war against the Taliban mean it’s just not possible to conduct a census within the country.

Hopefully we will get through this terrible time..

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Unrepresentative data?

Back to the discussion of censuses taking place in Pakistan and their validity, I came across a news article that claimed the past census of 1998 was seen to be flawed by certain members of the population. It seems if you’re a fisherman of the Christian faith you’re not likely to be on the census takers clipboard. Why is it that they’re not bothering to do their job properly? Some people give political reasons as to why the government would want to ‘exclude’ certain religious minorities. But is that really fair?
If the census isn’t taken properly, what’s the use of it?

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Census and Yr2051

My first post on this blog ..

Did you know after Independence, the first census of Pakistan was conducted 9th February in 1951? It was decreed that a census would be taken once every 10 years. So in the year 2051 we should be able to see census information about our ancestors since it will be 100 years from the very first census. Due to privacy laws, personal information can’t be made public to protect the privacy of living individuals. Its quite a long wait for anyone wanting to know about their ancestors at that time. Who knows if the Pakistan government will have kept that information safe..

What were your ancestors doing in 1951?

In 1951, my father would have been born in Pakistan. So I’m guessing he will be on the census or perhaps not if the census was not carried out properly. My grandfather and grandmother would have been in their early 20s having just recently been married.

Pakistan Census History
1) February 9 1951
2) 1961
3) 1972 – delayed due to war with India
4) 1981
5) March 8 1998 – population census begins in the country
6) 2002

Update: According to a news article the sixth National Census is to be taken in 2009, beginning with a ‘House Listing Operation’ from April 27 continuing till May 11. The second phase of the Census which will cover ‘Population & Housing Census’ will be carried out in October, 2009.
Does that mean the above information is incorrect? Was there no Census taken in 2002?

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