CensusOnline.com can provide you with direct links to all the main uk country/region censuses. We have linked up with ancestry.co.uk to provide a quick way of searching through the censuses for England, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. There are a number of links to the censuses of Ireland, Northern Ireland and counties of Ireland. Just click on the relevant page above for the year you are searching. Alternatively use this useful UK Census Collection link.
UK Census History
Full censuses have been taken in the United Kingdom every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 due to the second world war. In addition to this there was no census taken in Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State in 1921. The first four censuses i.e. from 1801-1831 were taken purely for statistical purposes and most of the census listings and books were destroyed afterwards. However some did survive, and some of these pre-1841 censuses have valuable personal information of value to Family Historians. Our sister site FamilyHistory.co.uk have dedicated a page Pre 1841 Census Records which details some of the English pre-1841 censuses that have survived. The first census in 1801 was initially taken to ascertain the number of men in the country that were available to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. Subsequent censuses were used to measure population growth. An English Government official and statistician by the name of John Rickman is credited with drafting the first bill which was to become the 1800 Census Act. This passed into law in December 1800.