Government Statement and Supporting Documents

Scotland’s Census 2011 - A Government Statement

Scottish Government ministers published proposals for the 2011 Census in December 2008 - Scotland's Census 2011 - A Government Statement. These set out how questionnaires will be securely collected, processed and analysed to produce high-quality statistics.

The plans included space for six new questions and better answers for people to choose from. For example, there were more tick boxes for ethnicity, marital status, qualifications and time spent caring for other people.

The six new questions were:

  • long-term health conditions
  • language - two new questions
  • household income
  • national identity
  • month/year of arrival in the UK

People need to be sure that the personal details on their census questionnaire will be held securely. We have a long history of successfully protecting census data. Information that can identify households or individuals is very strictly controlled and it is a criminal offence to disclose it. Everyone working with personal census information is required to sign a declaration to confirm their understanding of their statutory obligations, and the penalties for failing to meet them. The confidentiality of the information provided about individuals and households is protected for 100 years after each census. Until then, we only publish anonymised statistics.

Supporting Documents

To support its planned approach to delivering the 2011 Census, we published an evidence paper. This details the steps taken to research census questions and the intended questions for inclusion in 2011.

We analysed how well people understand the 2009 rehearsal questions before making its final question recommendations to Parliament in late 2009.

Scotland's Census 2011: Recommendations on Content (PDF 758 Kb)


Scotland's Census 2011 Government Statement



Official Print Publication


This document is available in English:

Scotland's Census 2011 Government Statement (PDF) Format (319 Kb)

and in Gaelic:

Scotland's Census 2011 Government Statement (PDF) Format (209 Kb)