Census Registration Service

The Census Registration Service (CRS) enabled faster and easier access to four of the census data resources for UK higher and further education. Since going live in 2002, it has been expanding and introduced two other services, all of which have access to census resources from just one registration.

The CRS was established at the UK Data Archive in August 2001, with its first year being devoted to consultation and development.

The service was funded to facilitate access to four of the Census data resources for UK higher and further education:

  • Census Dissemination Unit from MIMAS (University of Manchester)
  • Census Geography Data Unit (UKBORDERS) from EDINA (University of Edinburgh)
  • Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (Universities of Leeds and St Andrews)
  • Samples of Anonymised Records from the Census Microdata Unit, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (University of Manchester)

The CRS was developed as a 'one-stop shop' registration system for these four services. It was designed so that the completion of one online registration procedure, both speedy and straightforward, provided access to all of these resources. When launched, the previous cumbersome registration procedures were integrated by the adoption of Athens authentication and Single Sign On technology enabling a single access route to the data.

The CRS went live in August 2002 and, since then, has been registering all census data users in UK higher and further education. In June 2003, the service was rolled out to ESDS International followed by full inclusion of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) in June 2004, thus providing seamless access to all census and ESDS data resources from a single registration. Registration for Historical Census Collection (CHCC) was incorporated later the same year.

In 2006 the UK Data Archive made a successful bid to continue to run the registration service and to create a new portal for the ESRC Census Programme. July 2007 saw the launch of the Census.ac.uk web portal which incorporated the CRS.

Archive contribution

The UK Data Archive ran the project.

Principal investigator:  Matthew Woollard
Funder:  ESRC, JISC
Dates:  August 2001 - July 2006
Contact:  Census team
Links:  Census Registration Service End of Award Report Jan 05 – Jul 06