Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.2, No.4, 1986. pp. 515530

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1981 Census Evaluation Programme in England and Wales, Census Division, Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, OPCS

Following the 1981 Census, various checks were carried out on the coverage and quality of the results in England and Wales. A post-enumeration survey was the main tool used, but for the evaluation of census coverage, this was augmented by a series of demographic checks against statistics from other administrative sources. The main conclusion from the coverage checks was that the census probably missed about 241 000 people net (about half of one per cent of the population) including some 36 000 children aged 0–4. At older ages than this, adults aged 16–44 were more likely to be missed than others and males rather more than females. Students and people out of employment were also more likely to be missed than people in employment.

The quality of householders' responses to particular census questions was evaluated in a detailed post-enumeration interview survey. The results of this showed that the questions subject to most response error were those on rooms, various aspects of economic activity and the main means of travel to work. These results have been given in greater detail in Census Monitors available from OPCS (OPCS, CEN 82/3, 83/4, 84/1, and 84/3).

Census; population; evaluation.

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