In the UK a census is taken every 10 years. The Government uses the information to plan and fund services, such as education, medical services and transport. The information is anonymised and the census records are only available to the public after 100 years have past.

Results of early censuses were written in books, some of which were lost over time. The 1841 Wrexham census went missing – later turning up in a bookshop. The entire 1931 census was lost in a fire and in 1941 the UK was at war, so the census was cancelled. Historic census forms from 1841-1911 are available to view free  at the National Archives in Kew and in some libraries. The census for 1921 should be released this year.

The picture shows some burnt books.