The Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2019

As announced by the First Minister as part of the 2018-19  Programme for Government, the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill would amend the Census Act 1920 to allow National Records of Scotland (NRS) to ask voluntary questions on sexual orientation and transgender status/history in the 2021 census and future censuses. The Bill has now been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The full set of questions currently proposed to be asked in the 2021 Census can be found on the Plans for Scotland's Census 2021 page. The final proposed questions will be laid before the Scottish Parliament for agreement before the census takes place.

The Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 18 July and its substantive provisions (section 1) came into force (became law) on 18 September 2019. This confirms that we can ask voluntary questions on sexual orientation and transgender status and history if the Scottish Parliament agrees to have these questions in the 2021 Census.

To support the introduction of the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, NRS published a range of Impact Assessments which can be viewed below: