The 1911 Census for England and Wales must remain closed as a whole document until 2012, to protect personally sensitive information. However the Information Commissioner’s decision means that The National Archives must supply some information from the 1911 Census in response to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

In response to great public demand The National Archives is developing an online 1911 Census service, covering most parts of the census and is investigating the possibility of launching this digital service in 2009. Over two kilometres of census records, containing the details of 35 million UK ancestors, will be digitised. This will provide an online service, across most fields of the Census, enabling researchers anywhere in the world to search and download digital scans of images from the census. It is anticipated that it will be available from 2009. The full 1911 census won’t be released until 2012.