09 March 2021
Find your UK ancestor on the 1901 census with our guide to the dates the census was taken and what information it contains.
The census is an essential building block for your family tree, allowing you to see a snapshot of your ancestor and their family members at ten-yearly intervals.
The census returns of 1841-1911 for England, Wales and Scotland are available online and can give you a unique insight into your ancestors’ lives every 10 years. You can read more about how and where to search the census in our UK census guide.
The 1901 census
The 1901 census was taken on 31 March 1901 and in most respects, repeated the questions that had been asked in the 1891 census, with the question on 'employer/employed/ neither' replaced with 'employer/worker/own account, if working at home' (England and Wales), language spoken (Isle of Man only). For Scotland, the word 'idiot' was removed from the disability category and the Gaelic question was for age 3+ only. Also in Scotland, overseas inhabitants were asked whether they were ‘foreign subject’.
This is also the first date for which an Irish census survives - also taken on 31 March 1901. Find out more at the National Archives Ireland.
What information does the UK 1901 census contain?
- First name
- Relationship to head of household
- Rank/profession/occupation (with 'unemployed' added, Scotland only)
- Language spoken (Wales, Isle of Man)
- Whether English, Gaelic or both spoken (Scotland only, age 3+ for Gaelic)
- Marital status
- Whether born in county where enumerated, plus county and parish for England & Wales
- Whether born in Scotland, Ireland or 'foreign parts' (England, Wales & Channel islands), or born in Scotland, England, Ireland or 'foreign subject' (Scotland)
- Whether blind, deaf or dumb (Scotland only)
- Whether Gaelic speaker (Scotland only)
- Whether living in a dwelling with a door that opened onto a common stairway
- How many rooms with 1 or more windows (Scotland only)
Whether blind/deaf & dumb/ imbeclie/idiot, lunatic (England and Wales) imbecile, lunatic (Scotland)
The population for England & Wales at this census was recorded as 32,527,813, Scotland: 4,472,103.