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The Religious Question in the United Kingdom Census, 1801–2011

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2014

A. J. CHRISTOPHER*
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa; e-mail: aj.christopher@nmmu.ac.za

Abstract

It is notable that, in contrast to Ireland, there was no religious question in the decennial censuses of Great Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Parliament debated and determined the contents of the enumeration and the inclusion of religion was keenly disputed until 1914. The debates raised issues of religious liberty, church establishment and practical applicability. However, census-taking required broad public cooperation and the possibility of widespread opposition to the question led to its repeated exclusion. Only in the twenty-first century was the religious question reconsidered and included, as a result of changes in British society.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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