The census was in March 2011, why does it take so long to produce the results?

It takes time to collect, process and check the vast amount of data collected in the census. We try to get the balance right between publishing the results as quickly as possible and ensuring that the quality of the information, upon which key decisions are based, is correct. Users of census data have consistently asked that we concentrate on getting the quality right first time.

The information that I want is not contained in the published tables. Can I ask for it?

NRS Customer Services will continue to provide a commissioned table service for census statistics. This will be available on demand for customer requirements that are not met by the data available in the published tables. The availability of commissioned tables will be determined by: the data available at each release stage; whether or not NRS already intends to release the data later; statistical disclosure control policies; and available resource.

Why do we need a census?

The census is the most comprehensive population and household survey. The answers people give to the census are used to produce anonymised statistics that help central and local government and other organisations decide where billions of pounds of public money will be spent every year, for example on services everyone needs, such as education, transport, housing and healthcare.


A census is the procedure of gathering and recording information about the members of a population. Scotland’s Census is the official count of every person and household which takes place once every ten years.


An adult in a household is defined as any person who is not a dependent child. This definition is used in most results from the 2011 Census. In results where a different definition is used it is clearly indicated.

Accessibility standards

As part of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published a set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), along with a checklist for evaluating website compliance and this has become the accepted international standard.  This web site has been designed to comply with web accessibility standards including XHTML v1.0, CSS 2.0. and WAI Priority 2.


Subscribe to Scotland Census 2011 RSS