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A vision of Britain through time: making long-run statistics of inequality accessible to all

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Britain has been gathering systematic statistics about its localities for two hundred years, through the census, vital registration and other mechanisms. However, the resulting data were useless to researchers interested in really long-run trends at the local level, and simply inaccessible to the bulk of the population: few public libraries, let alone homes, had complete sets of census reports back to 1801; when reports could be found, they occupied shelf-yards of fat volumes, often disintegrating, full of figures mainly about geographical areas right across Britain; the data are not for modern units but old units whose boundaries you do not know; and there were many variations over time in the classifications used. This paper describes work to make these data easily usable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-43
Number of pages18
JournalRadical Statistics
Issue number82
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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