Whilst most of us may be familiar with the population census which happens every 10 years (there was one in 1911), you may be interested to know, other more frequent census surveys were conducted in times of explosive growth. In the early 1900s, an annual police census was held and Sergeant Buchanan of the Blantyre Police Station released a brief summary to reporters concluding that in 1908, for Blantyre in general:
The total population was 15,537, made up of 8,212 males and 7325 females. There were 2,915 occupied houses, 61 empty and 18 being built. There was (incredibly) 23 public houses, 2 porter and ale businesses and 11 licensed grocers! The old saying about never having to walk far in Blantyre to get to a pub, comes to mind!
Pictured is the “census officer” doing his rounds.