Census: Office for National Statistics on 2011 figures
17 July 2012 Last updated at 13:18 BST
A reminder from 1951 explained how the post-war generation was told why the census was needed and how to fill it in.
Pete Benton, from the Office for National Statistics, explained some of the initial figures to be released from the 2011 count, and he debated with Baroness Valentine about the uses for the statistics.
Archive images from Pathe News