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Petition to reduce the UK census release from 100 years to 70 years

Genealogists wanting access to UK census records have a 100-year waiting period. We recently wrote about the early release of the 1911 census.

Now Downing Street is encouraging UK residents/citizens to sign an e-petition to reduce the classified period for census data from 100 years to 70 years. They wrote:

This would allow census information from 1911, 1921 and 1931 to be used by the general public researching their family history in the absense (or failing memories) of their elderly relatives. Birth, Marriage and Death information is already available so why is information about where people lived hidden.

To date, just over 9,000 electronic signatures have been collected. The deadline to sign up is March 8, 2007. Visit the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/CensusInfoFreed/


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This news item is slightly misleading. It is NOT Downing Street that has initiated the petition. The initiator has used a facility provided by Downing Street, in order to create the petition. This is NOT the UK government canvassing support for the early release of the 1911 census data. In fact, the government will, in all likelihood, ignore the petition.

Please reduce census from 100 years to 70 years for public viewing.
Thank you,
Keith Arnold

I would dearly like to see the 1911,1921 and 1931 Census information. It would be most useful in my researches. However, people were told when they filled in their Census forms that they would be kept secret for 100 years, so I think that we have to respect that.

If you are able to please sign the petition, as at 26/1/2007 there are over 12,000 signatures. Ok so PERHAPS the uk government won't pay any attention, but if no one signs then they definitely won't!

Of course this is also a bit theoretical as the 1931 Census was destroyed by bombing in WW2.

I tried to sign the petition but only Uk Citizens are allowed to do this.

Being able to view this information after 70years would certainly help people like me that live overseas, and who are only able to access the files online.

May be partly theoretical as the 1931 Census returns have been destroyed by WW2 bombing

I think when they promised to keep the 1911 Census private, times were a WHOLE lot different then and it was definitely more of a matter of life and death than it is now.

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