This polygon shapefile contains boundaries for the system of districts used in England and Wales for vital registration and also for the administration and reporting of the Census of Population. They were largely but not always identical to the system of Poor Law Unions. This file represents the system as it was used to report the 1851 Census of Population. To distinguish between identical place names with different administrative geographies, an Administrative County Boundaries layer may be used to add County name attributes to this layer. Statistical data and other information used in “A Vision of Britain through Time” can be accessed here: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data.This dataset is intended for researchers, students, and policy makers for reference and mapping purposes, and may be used for basic applications such as viewing, querying, and map output production, or to provide a basemap to support graphical overlays and analysis with other spatial data.