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Census

The census collects information about the characteristics of people and households in the country. It is used by central and local government, health authorities and many other organisations to allocate resources and plan services for everyone.

2021 Census

The 2021 Census section contains information about Scotland’s plans for a proposed census in 2021. On-going research and updates for the 2021 Census, as well as background information on the Beyond 2011 programme.

2011 Census

The 2011 Census section contains information about the preparations we made for the 2011 Census, policy and methodology documents and updates on the work we are doing to produce the census results.
 
Please Note: For 2011 Census results go to the Scotland's Census website.
 
You can read details in Gaelic about previous censuses by visiting our Gaelic section.
 
2001 Census
 
Most statistics from the 2001 Census are available on our Scotland's Census Results OnLine (SCROL) website.

1991 Census

Products from the 1991 Census are still available within this section.

Earlier Censuses
 
Censuses contain useful information for family historians, and people interested in Scotland's social history. The statistical reports from the Censuses from 1801 to 1931 are available on the Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports website. Census records about individual people are left confidential for 100 years to protect privacy. Access to older Census records is described on our ScotlandsPeople website.

The first successful attempt to carry out a census in Scotland was by Alexander Webster (minister and author), which was based on an enquiry he sent to every parish minister in Scotland. It was published as a transcript in Scottish Population Statistics including Webster's Analysis of Population 1755 (PDF 29.3 Mb) with an introduction by former Registrar General for Scotland James Gray Kyd in 1952.

(This digital copy is reproduced by kind permission of the Scottish History Society. (C) Copyright, Scottish History Society, Introduction, notes etc.,1952. All rights reserved.)

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Page last updated: 26 March 2014


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