County-level Statistics from the Agricultural Census

Table ID:
AGCEN_CNTY     (6561852)
County-level Statistics from the Agricultural Census
Approx. number of rows:
Table type:
Raw Data
Documentation Author:
Humphrey Southall
The data cover the period 1866 to 1971.
Dates and times are identified by:


  1. The data are all drawn from the published reports of the Agricultural Census. However, this table combines data transcribed from those reports by several different agencies or projects, each following different strategies. The 'Transcriber' column identifies who did the transcription.
  2. Transcriber='DEFRA': These are complete transcriptions of the data for English counties from the reports for years ending in zero, from 1900 to 1980. The 1980 data are not currently included in this table because we have been unable to relate them to the published reports and have therefore been unable to check the data or include the original report labels.
  3. Transcriber='DGATLEY': These are fairly complete transcriptions of the reports for 1871 and 1901.
  4. Transcriber='SCHWARTZR': These are complete transcriptions of the data for English and Welsh counties from the reports for 1869 and 1885, created by Robert Schwartz of Mount Holyoke College. He also created much more limited transcriptions for 1875, 1895 and 1915, but these have not been used.
  5. Transcriber='GBHGIS': The transcriptions described above have been extensively supplemented by the GB Historical GIS Project, to fill gaps in the sequence of 19th century reports, to include more data for years ending in one and so linking to the Census of Population, and to provided some coverage of Scotland and Ireland. Data for 1921, 1941, 1951 and 1971 were transcribed by Paula Aucott in March and June 2006 and are limited to data on total acreage, and the areas of arable, permanent grass and rough grazings. Much more complete transcriptions for 1931 and 1961 were made by Ben Jakobek in January 2008, which together with David Gatley's transcriptions form a 30-year secquence 1871-1901-1931-1961. Scottish data were added for those years, and also for 1870, 1877, 1884 and 1885. Irish data are currently held for 1871 only. The GBHGIS transcriber ID also appears for certain rows within transcriptions made by others, where we added columns needed to compute checksums.


  1. Most of the data cover Administrative Counties as defined at the relevant date, but there are a number of exceptions: in 1931-61 inclusive, London is combined with Middlesex; in 1971, Greater London is covered by two separate units, 'Greater London (Eastern)' and 'Greater London (South Eastern)', which may mean that the GLC area was divided between two regions of England; in 1961 and 1971 'Suffolk' was listed as a single unit; in 1941-71, the Scilly Isles are listed separately from Cornwall. The table also includes data for the Isle of Man in all years.
  2. This table is currently a work in progress, with substantial enhancements to the original transcriptions. In particular, the data have been checked back against the original tables and re-arranged to place variables in the order they were originally listed. All labels for crops, animals etc are those used in the original reports.
  3. The various units have been systematically linked to the AUO. The following points should be noted:
    • The only rows which lack g_unit values are those for 'CROFTING COUNTIES' in the Scottish reports.
    • The reports for England and Wales include data for the Scilly Isles. These have been given the unit ID for Cornwall, but this means that data need to be grouped by g_unit.
    • The 19th century reports for England and Wales are broadly by Ancient County but include data for the three Ridings of Yorkshire. These have been given g_unit values as for the Divisions of the Ancient County, and we have added derived values for Yorkshire as a whole, so that the data cover all the Ancient Counties.


  1. The data for individual counties for each variable were checked against the overall totals for England, for Wales, for Scotland, and for Ireland. Wherever possible, we also checked numbers for individual counties against available checksums, such as comparing the sum of the acreages of individual crops against the total arable area. In a small number of cases this included correcting printing errors in the original reports by replacing values that led to checksum errors with the number that met both row and column checksums.


IndexTypeColumn(s) indexed
agcen_cnty_pk Primary key county, year, report_label


The table has the following associated constraints:

agcen_cnty_pk Primary Key See details above for primary key index

Columns within table:

county Text string (max.len.=64). The name of the county, or nation (see note above).
transcriber Text string (max.len.=14). Value identifying who did the transcription (see notes above).
year Integer number. Year in which the data were gathered. The farm census has always been carried out in June.
report_table Text string (max.len.=24). Identifier for the table within the report. This is a string, not a number, such as 'Table 2'.
col_or_row Integer number. Column or row occupied by the value in the original table, i.e. the location of the variable in the original report. NB some tables used different columns for each county, in which case this DB field will hold a row number. Many tables also included values for the previous year, but these have been ignored when computing these column/row numbers. (NB the reason why Scottish data for 1870 and 1884 are included in this table is that they were listed in the tables for the following year and included in the OCR output.)
report_label Text string (max.len.=144). The label for the variable as listed in the original report. NB this is not the version supplied by the original transcriber, but text added by the GBHGIS after careful checking against the original reports.
meas_unit Text string (max.len.=16). The units in which the variable is measured. For now, the only value is 'Acres'.
value Floating point number. The numerical value of the variable for the relevant county and year.
row_type Text string (max.len.=12). Abbreviation indicating type of unit.
g_unit Integer number. ID number for reporting unit, as defined in the AUO.
g_unit_type Text string (max.len.=28). Type of the unit, as defined in the AUO.
cellref Text string (max.len.=52). Cell reference identifying what the particular data value measures, as used in the GBH GIS Data Documentation system. These are set using the agcen_variables table and based on the value of report_label, but also reflect the particular year the label appears in.
g_data_status Text string (max.len.=6). Used as in the main data table: everything loaded in from the transcriptions is labelled as 'P' for public, while the additional values computed by the script which builds the table have status 'D' for derived.
rec_num Integer number. Sequence number added as the data are loaded, to keep them in order.