Irish Census of 1911

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The Irish Census of 1911 was undertaken on Sunday, 2nd April, 1911, and covered the whole island of Ireland - then part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police were drafted in to act as census enumerators.

The census form used in Ireland differed in some respects from that used elsewhere in the United Kingdom. The Irish form asked for the religion of the respondents, their literacy level (whether they could read or write), and their level of competency in the Irish language (though the form used in Wales asked a similar question about the Welsh language).

A controversy at the time was the campaign by the Suffragette movement for women to refuse to complete the census. Returns for several prominent Irish women of the time are indeed missing from the returns.

Digitisation project

The census records for 1911 are held and maintained by the National Archives of Ireland. In conjunction with Library and Archives Canada, the National Archives undertook a project to digitise the paper records. The results of the first phase of this project were launched on 4th December, 2007, when the digitised census returns for Dublin were made available online.[1] They are searchable by both name and street.


At the launch of the online census, Caitríona Crowe, Director of the National Archives said "We find it very difficult now to look at 1911 without thinking of 1916, the first World War and the 1913 Lockout, but nobody in 1911 knew anything about those things at the time - they were living in a different world that hadn't changed fundamentally."

As well as access to the actual census returns, the census website also contains contextual essays on life in Dublin 1911.

External links


  1. The irish Times: "1911 census details can be accessed online from today". Tuesday 4th December, 2007. Available: Accessed: 6th December, 2007.