Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Census Day

The census in New Zealand is usually held every five years. Half the census forms had been delivered when the 2011 Canterbury earthquake struck. The disruption caused was so great that the census was postponed for two years.

We have just been filling in our census forms. I was very intrigued to find that there are special instructions for those living in Canterbury, to cover unusual situations.

For instance, my insurance company is paying my rent, do I say "yes" to paying rent?
Do I count money received from the Red Cross as income?
If I am not living in my house because it is damaged what is my "usual" address?

A full list of the instructions is here.

As a genealogist I am particularly interested in census forms because I make use of hundred year old census records in my research. Unfortunately this only applies to records from the UK and USA, as legislation in New Zealand forbids individual forms ever being released to researchers.

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