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THE Act for taking the Census of England required that the 31,000 Enumerators should copy into Books the Householders' Schedules and other particulars collected in their several districts. These Books were to be placed, with the Schedules, in the hands of the 2197 Registrars, who were to subject them to a strict examination, and make all necessary corrections. Before the 30th April the Enumerators' Books and other Documents were to be transferred to the 631 Superintendent Registrars, who were required to test the accuracy of their contents by a further process of revision.

The Superintendent Registrars were allowed a short time for the purpose of returning the revised Books to the Census Office, where they have still to undergo strict and minute revision, before any detailed and exact statement of results can be given. As this essential labor must, however, of necessity, engage much time, it has been thought desirable not to withhold from the public such an approximation to the general results as might be obtained without waiting for the entire completion of this series of checks. The Registrars, therefore, were desired to forward to the Census Office summaries of the population and houses within their respective districts.

From these summaries have been chiefly compiled the following Tables, which must be taken to represent the results of the Census according to the statements of the local officers, previous to the revision now in progress at the central Office. And although minute accuracy is not to be looked for, yet it is apprehended that the alterations which a careful revision of the original documents may render necessary will not be of importance sufficient to lessen the value of the figures as materials for whatever general inferences may fairly be drawn from them.

Table I. comprises the population enumerated on April 8th, 1861, in England and Wales and the Islands in the British Seas, amounting to 20,205,504. The portion of the Army, Royal Navy, and Merchant Seamen out of the country at the time of the Census s not included, and as it appears from official returns that the Army abroad amounted to about 137,000, the Royal Navy and Marines absent from the UNITED KINGDOM to about 42,900, and the Merchant Seamen absent on voyages to about 96,000, it may be assumed that the numbers of these classes belonging to ENGLAND and WALES were collectively not less than 162,021, mostly adult males.

Table II. exhibits the number of houses and the population enumerated in England and Wales in 1851 and 1861, with the increase in the interval.

Table III. shows the population of England and Wales at each of the Censuses, 1801-61, including the Army, Navy, and Merchant Seamen abroad as well as at home, with the increase in each decennial period. The actual increase of population (2,169,576), between 1851 and 1861, was greater than in any previous decennial period, but the rate of increase, owing to active emigration, had somewhat diminished.

Table IV. presents a comparative view of the number of Houses enumerated at each of the Censuses.

Table V. shows the houses and population enumerated in the COUNTIES (proper) in 1851 and 1861, together with the increase or decrease of persons in each county in the period between the enumerations.

In Table VI. the numbers of inhabited houses and of the population in 1851 and 1861, with the increase or decrease of persons in the interval, are presented for each of the 631 Superintendent Registrars DISTRICTS into which England is divided. These Districts are for the most part co-extensive with single Poor Law Unions, or two or more Unions combined, but in some instances they consist of places in which the relief of the poor is regulated under Local Acts or otherwise than by the Poor Law Amendment Act. A column is added in this Table, showing the excess of registered births over deaths in the ten years 1851-60; but in comparing these numbers with the ascertained increase or decrease it is necessary to bear in mind that the whole of the births are not registered. No birth can be recorded after six months, and registration is not compulsory, so in the present state of the law many births are not entered in the registers, especially in London and the large towns.

Table VII. is framed from the details in Table VI. The Superintendent Registrars' Districts are grouped together in 11 Divisions, each comprising the whole, or nearly the whole, of the several counties named. In the columns showing the ascertained increase of population and the excess of births over deaths in these Divisions may be traced the powerful stream of immigration into the principal centres of trade and the seats of mining and manufacturing industry. Thus in London (Division I.) where the excess of registered births over deaths was 253,989, the influx of persons from other parts had raised the actual increase to 440,798; in the Eastern Division (IV.), consisting of the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, the ascertained increase was only 28,220, while the natural increase or excess of births over deaths was 129,726.

In Table VIII. the houses and population in the principal CITIES and BOROUGHS in 1861 are stated chiefly on the authority of the Superintendent Registrars in whose districts the places are wholly or partly comprised. The municipal and parliamentary boundaries are frequently not conterminate with those of parishes or other local sub-divisions, and great care is required in assigning the population within their exact limits. It is probable that sufficient attention to questions of boundary has not been given in some cases by the local officers in preparing these statements within the limited time allowed them. The numbers must therefore be received as approximations only, subject to revision hereafter at the Census Office. This Table includes only corporate towns and boroughs returning members to Parliament; several large towns consequently do not appear in it.

Tables IX. and X., referring to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, require no explanation.

Table XI. relates to Emigration. According to the Returns of the Emigration Commissioners 2,249,355 emigrants sailed from the ports of the United Kingdom in the interval between the Census of March 31st, 1851, and the Census of April 8th, 1861. But 194,532 of the number were probably of foreign origin, leaving 2,054,823 emigrants from the population of the United Kingdom; of whom about 640,210 were of English origin, 188,627 were of Scotch origin, and 1,230,986 were of Irish origin.

We reserve any further observations for the Report which will accompany the detailed abstracts.

  GEORGE GRAHAM, Registrar-General.

Assistants to the Registrar-General in the matter of
the Census.
Census Office, Craig's Court,
7th June 1861.  

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