Scotland's Census 2021

Scotland’s Census is the official count of every person and household in the country.  The next census is on Sunday 21 March, 2021.

Before this, we will hold a census rehearsal in October 2019.

The census collects information about where you live and the people who live there.

There has been a census in Scotland every ten years since 1801, except 1941. The answers you give to the census questions will help shape Scotland’s future and our public services.

A legal responsibility

Every household in Scotland must complete the census. It is against the law to refuse to complete the questionnaire.

This means you could face legal action if you refuse to take part. In some cases, you may receive a criminal record and fine.

Who runs the census

In Scotland, the National Records of Scotland is responsible for the census.

In England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics is responsible.

And in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is responsible.


Key Points

The next census is on Sunday 21 March 2021. It will help shape Scotland's future.
The census counts everybody in Scotland, including people who were not born here.
The census in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is run by different parts of Government.
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