Everyone Had To Have A Religion In 1911 Ireland
Following up on the last post about this years Census form and the religion question contained within, I took it upon myself to see what the people of 1911 put down for that answer. I wasn't too surprised to see that there were no big trends for the word "Atheism" in the search but what was surprising is the fact that anyone who answered along the lines of "no religion", "none" or just not aplicable, someone had come along and written "information refused" over the top. It seems that the notion of being without religion was in contempt of the census.
This might seem fitting for the time, but with the way the question is posed on the 2011 census form I wonder if little has changed. The supposition is that you have a religion and the option for no religion seems merely tacked on at the end. And as suspected, reports have surfaced of enumerators telling people to tick Roman Catholic if they were simply baptised, irrespective of their practising habits now.
[ List of 1911 Census Forms with "Information Refused" ]
Posted at 16:50