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Scotland’s Census ready to move to next stage

Almost 2.3 million households completed census.

The extension to the census collection period saw an additional 200,000 households complete their census, it was announced yesterday.

Setting out progress to Parliament, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Angus Robertson announced that the national return rate increased by 8.7 percentage points since the start of the extension to 87.9%, bringing the total number of households providing a response to Scotland’s Census 2022 to almost 2.3 million.

The level of national census returns provides a strong position to build up a picture of the population, as National Records of Scotland moves to the next phase of the census.

Mr Robertson said:

“The census is a once in a decade exercise and plays an important role in decision making for Scotland. I want to thank everyone who completed the census, your responses will help shape the future of vital public services across Scotland. I also want to give my thanks to all of the people involved over the past few months from the hundreds of field staff, contact centre agents and census officials who were instrumental in ensuring the voices of households across Scotland were heard.

“We extended the collection period to ensure that as many people as possible could have the opportunity to complete it. Since the start of the extension, we have seen significant progress with 10 local authorities achieving a return rate of more than 90% and 28 local authorities having a return rate of more than 85%.

“This data will provide us with a strong position as we move to the next phase and turn this data into actions that will benefit people across Scotland.

“There have been many important lessons learned over the last few months and which we will consider for the future of the census. The evaluation of Scotland’s Census 2022 will help us develop a better understanding of what has worked and make informed recommendations for the future.”


Through a combination of census returns, individual administrative data, the Census Coverage Survey, and adjustments using aggregate administrative data, NRS will be able to proceed effectively with the next phase of census.

A target was set to achieve 85% or more for each Local Authority area. On the 01 May this had only been achieved in one Local Authority, it has now been achieved by 28.

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