How many rooms in your home? This has been a census question in the UK since 1871, the BBC news article reports, it also analyses how rooms have evolved over the centuries. Back in the Medieval ages it was normal to have one large room used for everything from cooking, socialising, washing to sleeping. From the Victorian ages well through to the Industrial Revolution and beyond, walls started to come up in the house hold (billiard rooms, morning rooms, parlours, studies). These changes were related to technology, privacy, cleanliness and class.
In the modern times that we live in ‘down come the walls once again’ made possible with the likes of extractor fans (thank you to residents who actually use them to suck up the mighty strong smells). It’s now the norm to use one large room with friends one end and cook in the other end, without anyone distracted by the smell of foods. Once the 2011 census results have been analysed, it will show a ‘return to Medieval living’, said the BBC news article.
Another fascinating insight refers to today’s attitudes to cooking “For others, the kitchen is meaningless – it’s a place for eating the takeaway you ordered online. It has become another place to show off.” Are you a foodie and value using your ammunition of exotic ingredients? Or are you a city type and use it for storing last nights Subway sandwich you couldn’t quite finish off.
Collectors have been knocking on doors to remind people that the deadline to complete the online form is until 6 May, so it’s still not too late. Beware, there is a glitch with the new online census service, which was available online for the first time this year. Being a fairly lengthy form some users had partly completed it and then had gone to make a cuppa. Unfortunately the system logs them out after a period of inactivity, loosing data for all completed questions.
The census is also expected to show a rise in single parent households, pensioners, young adults living with parents because of difficulty getting on the housing ladder. Also for the first time the census includes questions on same-sex civil partnerships. White minority areas are likely to appear in results for the first time, “the first towns where non-whites are expected to outnumber the whites are Leicester, Birmingham, Slough and Luton” as reported in the Indian Express.
Sources: BBC, Telegraph, Indian Express
Census Poll 1
Census Poll 2