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The Census


What is the census?

The census is a count of all the people and all the households in the UK. The census is the most complete source of information that we have about the population. The last census in the UK was held on Sunday 27th March 2011.

How often is a census held?

A census is held every 10 years.

When was the first census?

The first census was held in 1801.

How is census data used?

Census data provides a detailed source of information for understanding Scotland and its population.

The answers given to the census are used to produce anonymous data and statistics that play a vital role in planning for Scotland’s future.

The information in the census allows central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to use their resources more effectively and to plan housing, education, health and transport services for years to come.

Population estimates, area profiles, and detailed data mapping all use census data to help decide how and where billions of pounds of funding and investment should be used.

Census Data as historical records

The individual census records also provide us with a lasting account of Scotland’s people for future generations.

Who is responsible for planning and carrying out the census?

In Scotland, the census is planned and carried out by the National Records of Scotland.

The next census will be in 2022.