Read transcripts of debates in both Houses
Produced by Commons Library, Lords Library and Parliamentary Office Science and Technology
Search for Members by name, postcode, constituency and party
Learn about their experience, knowledge and interests
Celebrating people who have made Parliament a positive, inclusive working environment
Four staff networks for people to discuss and consider issues.
2018 marks 100 years since some women, and all men, could vote. Find out how you can join in
Sign up for the Your Parliament newsletter to find out how you can get involved
Take a tour of Parliament and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea by the River Thames
See some of the sights you’ll encounter on a tour of Parliament
Book a school visit, classroom workshop or teacher-training session
Access videos, worksheets, lesson plans and games
The late 18th century saw increasing discussion about the question of population and its effects on society. The economist Thomas Malthus took an extreme viewpoint, arguing that Britain had a falling populace and population growth itself would outstrip food supplies and lead to starvation and famine. The civil servant and statistician John Rickman, and politicians such as Charles Abbot and William Wilberforce, didn’t agree with these fatalistic views. Rickman suggested the introduction of a population census which would provide the Government with information on societal patterns, and which would also be a useful aid to formulate military recruitment in the continuing war with France. Parliament passed the Population Act in December 1800, and the first United Kingdom census was conducted the following year, continuing the trend for acquiring accurate demographic information that had developed in Europe and America in the previous century.
Find out more about the Parliamentary Archives