Blog posts by Aidan McGuire

Transforming the England & Wales Census with Cantabular

This autumn the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) has turned on Cantabular to power the production of outputs from the 2021 England and Wales census. This marks an important milestone in a 5 year journey that started with a simple question from the ONS: “Could we build a system to generate tables of census data on demand with privacy protections applied in real-time?”.

Irish Census 1911: Data collection and processing methodology

This document describes the scope, methods, assumptions and limitations of the work that The Sensible Code Company and collaborators have collectively completed on historical Ireland census data, collected from The National Archives of Ireland’s website, in order to publish a publicly available interactive dataset at

Unlocking the value in historic records with Cantabular

At the end of April we at Sensible Code are going to run an event to demonstrate our privacy-preserving software Cantabular using the 1911 Ireland census—the last all Ireland census—to show how modern technologies have the potential to unlock the value hidden in historic records, for the benefit of academics, researchers, statistical organisations and wider society.