1971 and 1961 Census microdata samples
Article dated: 3 January 2018
A suite of microdata samples from the 1971 and 1961 censuses have been made available at the UK Data Service and in the ONS’s Secure Research Service (formerly the Virtual Microdata Laboratory (VML). This follows the release of 1981 Census microdata in October. The files were created as part of a project to make better use of existing data and to advance research based on census data. This was led by the UK Data Service and supported by ONS and the National Records of Scotland.
Microdata files are small samples of data for whole households and individuals that contain a range of socio-demographic characteristics but no information that could identify a household or individual. They enable researchers to look at combinations of characteristics that are not generally available from the standard census tables, and to perform different types of analyses not possible from standard tabulations. Access to the different microdata samples varies according to the size of the sample and the level of detail contained in it - details below.
ONS are always keen to obtain value from historical censuses by opening up data. The release of microdata samples from 1961 to 1981 has created a rich research resource for the analysis of social change over the last 50 years.