1840 Population Act

1840 Population Act
  • Title: An Act for taking an Account of the Population of Great Britain

  • Date : 1840

  • Catalogue number : Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1840/3&4V1n273

  • Description :

    By the 1840s the Industrial Revolution had changed the socio-economic and cultural structure of the nation forever. The population had nearly doubled since the original census of 1801 and the census had to move with the changing times. The 1821 census had been a major influence on the 1832 Great Reform Act, but the 1841 census is considered the first modern census and forms the basis of the method still used today. Each person had to give their name, age, sex, occupation, whether born in the county and the country of birth if not England or Wales. These details are why this census is seen as the first census of real value to family historians. This document, the Population Act 1840, provided the legal framework for these changes. It created Commissioners for taking Account of the Population, responsible for implementing the Act. These included the Registrar General of Births, Marriages & Death in England and Wales, John Lister.

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