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The early decades of the 20th century saw growing concerns in government circles about the falling birth rate, the large numbers of people emigrating and the poor health of the nation. A large healthy workforce was needed to maintain Britain’s position as one of the foremost industrialised nations and there were continuing tensions in Europe that were being closely monitored. These concerns prompted the government to include questions on fertility and marriage in the census. The census asked married women to state the years their marriage had lasted, the number of children born alive to the present marriage and how many had died. The body of work for statisticians analysing the census returns was substantial, which is why documents such as this Parliamentary Paper on the 1911 census were not published until years after the census was taken.
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