Although there are already 36 complete counties at launch (35 if you don’t count the West Riding of Yorkshire as a county in its own right), there are more to come before the census is complete.
The counties we have released were the most heavily populated in 1911, so in terms of the percentage of the 1911 population 83% of the people included in the Census (and 88% of those in England) are available on the site at launch.
To understand the order we have been scanning the counties (and therefore the order they will become available) please read our previous post on scanning order: http://blog.1911census.co.uk/2008/12/the-order-of-scanning-and-our-unintentional-northsouth-divide/
Because of the way the pieces are ordered, those of you looking for relatives in the north of England and in Wales will have to be patient whilst we scan and transcribe the final pieces of the census. The good news is that we anticipate having the entire census complete by summer. The less good news is that we cannot give you a concrete date for when each individual county will become available (and neither can our Customer Support team!).
There’s a very good reason for this: scanning and preparing the census for publication online is a long process which is not 100% predictable. Although we have been making excellent progress to date (hence the early release of the counties so far) given that they were originally due to complete in 2011 , there are always a few unpredictable things that can delay the process. These include having to stop scanning to hoover dust out of the scanning machines, having to send pieces for conservation before they can be scanned or simple delays in moving the huge quantities of data generated from one place to another. The data for the 1911 census will take up over half a petabyte of storage - that’s the equivalent of over 50 million copies of the Yellow Pages and quite challenging to move around!
Rest assured that as soon as we have more counties to release, we will let you know immediately by email (if you are signed up to receive updates) and on this blog.