Scotland’s 1901 census was held on the 31 March at the start of the Edwardian era and just two months after the death of Queen Victoria.
The 1901 Census asked new questions about home and work including how many rooms were in a household or whether the person was employed, an employer or self employed. The addition of these questions gives us a broader view of work and family life at that time.
The census marked the end of a period of rapid population growth. In the century from 1801 (the first official census) the population almost trebled, from 1.6 million in 1801 to 4.5 million in 1901. By contrast, population growth in the 20th century was a much more gradual 0.5 million, to a population of just over 5 million in the 2001 Census.
Another interesting finding from the 1901 Census is that there were only 14 men aged between 15 and 65 from Africa and merely 290 Americans. Scotland’s population is far more diverse today. The 2001 Census showed that around 3% of Scotland’s population were from an ethnic group other than white British.
The individual 1901 Census records were published online in 2001 and the General Register Office for Scotland used new imaging technology to scan the census returns collected in 1901 through the Digital Imaging the Genealogical Records of the people of Scotland (DIGROS) project.
Images of the 1901 Census pages are linked to an index of over four million individual names on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk – a fantastic tool for people tracing their family heritage.