Update on Scotland’s Census 2021 – Sex question development

Update on Scotland’s Census 2021 – Sex question development

After careful consideration, reflecting on the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee recommendation, stakeholder evidence during Stage 1 of the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, and the approach being taken in censuses for the rest of the UK, National Records of Scotland (NRS) now propose to continue with a binary sex question in Scotland’s 2021 Census.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Ms Hyslop, has written to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee today to update them on this position. Further discussion on these matters between the Committee and NRS will shortly take place as we progress the Census Order work.

NRS has committed to carrying out further testing around the sex question and guidance in order to ensure that there is clarity for 2021 in terms of what exactly is being asked, the basis of responding, and how the results will compare to previous censuses.  This will build on the question development of the sex, trans status or history and sexual orientation questions.

Current plans are for the testing fieldwork to start in September but before that NRS will hold a series of meetings where we will provide an update on the legislative process and planned testing around the sex question. At these meetings we would like to continue conversations with stakeholders on guidance that will be included in the testing of the sex question.

These meetings are taking place at New Register House in the centre of Edinburgh on the following dates:

14th August 2pm – 3pm

16th August 10am -11am

Please book your attendance here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/update-on-scotlands-census-2021-sex-question-development-tickets-68113468217

If you are unable to attend these meetings, please get in contact with NRS (scotlandscensus@nrscotland.gov.uk). We would be happy to speak with you.