These 1961 Census data represent the first outputs from a program of statistical archaeology projects to make more historical census outputs available in digital form. The coming years will see the digitisation of additional census outputs back to 1921.The first release is for the 1961 Census Small Area Statistics (SAS) tables.
The 1961 SAS data have significant differences compared to data for more recent census data. Key considerations are listed below and we recommend familiarising yourself with the 1961 Census User Guide (pdf) before accessing the data.
Geographies: Data was not produced for all areas. Local authorities in England and Wales could request figures for enumeration districts, parishes and/or wards. Not all local authorities requested this data, and those that did, did not necessarily request data for all area types or all possible tables. Where data was not requested it was not produced.
Incomplete data: The digitised SAS data may also be incomplete due to difficulties or inconsistencies during the digitisation process. In addition, data may have been produced but the ONS does not hold copies of it.
For example, approximately 40% of parishes and 60% of wards in the 1961 Census had SAS data produced for them. Of those wards and parishes with data produced, over 99% of that data was able to be recovered. As more of the historic census outputs are digitised, it may be possible to plug some of the gaps.
Terminology: The information is presented using the language and terminology used in the original reports. No attempt is made to update or modernise the text.
Beta release: The 1961 Census SAS is being made available in stages as beta releases. As such, we aim to improve how the data is presented based on feedback. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on all aspects of the 1961 SAS data and supporting documentation.
The digitisation of historical census outputs is only possible if the original data is available. If you are aware of historic census outputs held within your organisation that you feel would benefit from digitisation, particularly at lower levels of geography such as enumeration district, please get in touch.