Census & Population

Resources for researching census or population may include data from subscription databases, publicly available data portals or archived academic projects. Some suggestions are:

  • The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
    A longitudinal survey collecting data about the births and families of approximately eleven thousand babies born in the United Kingdom in one particular week in 1970.  Originally known as the Child Health and Education Study (CHES). There have been seven full data collection exercises in order to monitor the cohort members' health, education, social and economic circumstances. These took place when respondents were aged 5, in 1975 (held under SN 2699), aged 10, in 1980 (SN 3723), aged 16, in 1986 (SN 3535), aged 26, in 1996 (SN 3833), aged 30, 1999-2000 (SN 5558), and aged 34, in 2004-2005 (SN 5585). With each successive wave, the scope of BCS70 has broadened from a strictly medical focus at birth, to encompass physical and educational development at the age of 5, physical, educational and social development at the ages of 10 and 16, and physical, educational, social and economic development at 26 years and beyond. The collection includes data that is available under a variety of access conditions so some segments may require special permission.
  • Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM)
    Detailed information collected about everyone resident in Great Britain at each decennial census from 1851 to 1911. The data has been harmonised and standardised from original enumeration books. It has consistent geography over time and standardised coding schemes for many census variables. There are two versions available; including names and addresses and an anonymised aggregated version.
  • Landscan Global Population Database
    A population database that maps geographical distribution of a populace within cells of one-kilometre resolution over a 24 hour period. This allows assessment, estimation and visualisation of populations reacting to disease outbreaks, social upheaval or natural disasters. The modelling process uses sub-national level census counts and other data for each country combined with high resolution imagery analysis.
  • National Population Census of China
    The Sixth National Population Census of China Database (NPCC) provides access to data from the 2010 population census. This includes nationwide population data, as well as data from 31 provinces, centrally administered municipalities and 2872 county level units.
  • National Records of Scotland: Census
    This site contains statistics and documentation relating to the three census returns in Scotland between 1991 and 2011. Statistics are available for administrative, health, electoral and other geographic areas.
  • Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
    This is the principal source of official statistics and social research on Northern Ireland available to social scientists, policy makers and researchers. Thematic groupings of statistics include agriculture, fishing and forestry, crime and justice, labour market, and population and migration.
  • Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales
    The ONS is the official site of the UK government for census and other government surveys. Visitors are able to search statistics by area, region or place. Browsing by themes such as agriculture, business and energy, children, economy and health is also available.
  • Office of the Registrar general and census commissioner, India
    Official pages of the India government providing data on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing, urbanisation, fertility, mortality, scheduled castes and many other socio-cultural and demographic data. This covers the period from 1872 to 2011. Census 2011 will be the 15th National Census of the Country. This is a key source of primary data at the village, town and ward level.
  • Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR or Histpop)
    The Online Historical Population Reports (OHPR) collection provides online access to the complete British population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937. It includes a wealth of textual and statistical material and provides an in-depth view of the economy, society (through births, deaths and marriages) and medicine during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is also popularly known as the Histpop project.
  • Public use files for European Statistical System (ESS) microdata released by Eurostat
    The files to be used for training purposes and analysis (data discovery). They should also allow researchers waiting for the access to scientific use files (SUF) to get an idea of what these scientific files contain and how they can be used.
  • Social Explorer
    A demographic resource, focussing on the United States, that provides access to major sources of historical and contemporary demographic data on population, housing, communities and religion. In many cases coverage is available at neighbourhood and street level. Great use is made of interactive mapping tools that allow data to be easily visualized, as well as extracted.
  • Social Trends
    A resource developed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that draws together social and economic data from a wide range of sources. It paints a broad picture of UK society today and how it has been changing.
  • Statistics South Africa
    Open data portal maintained by the government of South Africa to produce and co-ordinate statistics on its economy and citizens and to assist in evidence-based policy making. Data and publications based on a variety of census and survey sources are available and may be searched according to key themes, locations and indicators.
  • UK Data Service Census support
    The UK Data Service provides access to, and support for, users of the 1971 - 2011 Censuses of Population. It aims to give further information on how the British government uses the annual census as a snapshot of demographic and social life to inform government policy at local and central level. This includes aggregate data, flow (of people from place to place) data, microdata and boundary data.
  • United States Census Bureau
    The official pages of the US government allowing data to be accessed according to topics such as population, economy, education, employment, housing, health, housing, international trade and population. Data may be downloaded or analysed using onsite geographic frameworks, mapping software and data visualisation tools.

Further resources on this theme may be found by using SOLO, OxLIP+ and the relevant library LibGuides.

Recommendations for additions to this list are always welcome. Please email the Bodleian Data Library with suggestions.

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