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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

UK Census

Here is a nice piece by Danny Dorling arguing for the retention of the Census. I'd add to it only one thought. What we actually need is a UK population register. And someone to explain that Swedes, Norwegians, Finns and even Germans are not less free than Brits because in one way or another the state (or local government) requires them to register where they live. (I'm standing by for the inevitable flaming I'm going to get from assorted libertarian crazies).


SlkS said...

I always thought it’s ironic how much Germans are opposed to the idea of a census and Britons to the idea of a population register, both being substitutes to a large degree. The power of the status quo! The idea of the German „Microzensus“ is thus great I think. Note that German registers are held at the local level only and national registers are very limited; the Scandinavian style registers would make people freak out in Germany, too. There is little trust in these systems when they are official/public, but many of us throw loads of personal data at g, f and the like.

Best wishes, Silke

Colin said...

Quite right, the German Anmeldung/Abmeldung system is residence registration with the municipality or relevant local government authority. But this would provide an important part of the information that local government gets from the small area statistics generated from the UK Census (though up to 10 years out of date).

So apparently Brits acknowledge the need to know how many people live in a particular place so that service provision can be rationally planned, but refuse to countenance requiring citizens to tell the service providers where they live. They then complain when there are not enough school places in the local area.

As you say, they are happy though to give away all sorts of personal information to the private sector who respond by bombarding them with junk mail and junk phone calls.