Jersey census changes over the centuries

Image caption,
The census will give the States of Jersey information on the population

Jersey's government is hoping to find out how many cars people own and how many people live in the island.

They want to know where people were born, where they live and who they live with when the census is taken on 27 March.

The island has been collecting information on people in this way since 1821 but the questions have not always been the same.

In this census people will be asked how many cars they have, but 100 years ago people were asked for a different type of personal information.

As well as questions about occupation and relationships, in the 1911 census people had to give details of the infirmities of people living in the household.

It asked if people living in the household were blind, deaf, dumb or totally blind.

But it also asked whether people were a lunatic, imbecile or feeble minded.

It asked the person filling out the census, usually assumed to be the man of the house, to put the infirmity next to the persons name and the age they became afflicted.

Image caption,
Older census data can be found at the Jersey Archive

The 2011 census will not be asking people for their state of mind, but for archivists it will provide a window into our history.

This could be the last census in its current form, with every household filling out a form and sending it back.

Guernsey is not taking part in the 2011 census - it is pressing ahead with a rolling electronic census.

With Jersey only doing a survey once a decade this may be the last time a paper census falls through Channel Islands letter boxes.

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