Two articles about the U.K.'s possibly dropping its own census and replacing it with a regular scour through of the nation's post-office address lists, credit-card-checking registries, and so on. The Time Magazine Piece is more skeptical:
...the U.K. doesn't need "an unsatisfactory stitched-together patchwork of information," says David Coleman, professor of demographics at Oxford University, calling Maude's proposed method a "ludicrous fudge." Glen O'Hara, a historian at Oxford Brookes University, agrees: "These sources are not likely to be any substitute. They are mostly characterized by a near comical set of gaps, omissions, conflicts of interest and data-protection issues."
It also suggests that the decision has not been finalized:
...data-protection issues could well prove a sticking point. The U.K.'s center-right government might be reluctant to throw its support behind the Beyond 2011 project, especially as one of the first acts of the new coalition was to scrap the previous Labour government's ID-card scheme. The plan, reviled because of data-protection and personal-freedom concerns, was linked to an incomplete population database known as the National Identity Register — itself now scrapped, having hardly been used. A reliable register of addresses — costing $15 million — has been put together for the 2011 census. But licensing and data-sharing restrictions block the register from further use.
The Economist article is far more gung-ho, but suggests that a new people counting regime in the U.K. would still involve "periodic polling of a sample of the population". The article doesn't clarify, but I betcha this polling would be to gather more detailed, long-form-like information to supplement the bare-bones stuff in the other databases.
And, being The Economist, its a good read.