RE: Confirmation of National Statistics designation for Scotland’s Census 2022
Thank you for your letter dated 13 September 2023 confirming that outputs from Scotland’s Census 2022 comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics. As you can imagine, it has been a busy period for National Records of Scotland, but I am delighted to see the first outputs from Scotland’s Census now published as National Statistics.
I would like to take this opportunity to note my own thanks to all those at OSR for their ongoing support and engagement. The requirements in the phase two assessment report remained beneficial in ensuring a high benchmark was maintained with regards to stakeholder transparency and openness as we moved towards September.
Throughout delivery of first outputs, stakeholder engagement has remained vital for delivering high quality census statistics and for ensuring public trust. Following my letter to you in April 2023, NRS undertook a series of engagement with both general and targeted audiences to provide assurance in the reliability and robustness of the updated methodology used in the delivery of first outputs.
As you note in your letter, since the census collection period in 2022, NRS has worked closely with a group of census and statistical experts from across the world. This has provided NRS with both independent external advice on the quality of Scotland’s Census and the statistical approaches that have been used to produce high quality census outputs. This includes a thorough approach to quality assurance and validation at each step in our processing journey, culminating in a period of targeted engagement with Local Authorities where we were keen to assess comparable locally held data to further enhance census outputs.
I believe the independent assurance of the international steering group, our quality assurance processes and design and the recommendations and support of OSR have provided for a greater level of stakeholder trust during our extensive engagement process.
As you rightfully note in your letter, these first outputs are just the beginning of the data releases from Scotland’s Census 2022. From spring 2024 onwards, NRS will be publishing further results. In summer 2024, a series of topic data reports will also provide new and unique insights into the characteristics of Scotland’s people, including information on ethnicity, religion, the labour market, education and housing. For the first time, it will also include data on armed forces veterans, sexual orientation and trans status or history.
Ahead of further census data being released, we will continue to engage with data users closely to ensure their needs are met.
Once again I would like to thank you and the relevant teams at OSR for your support. We look forward to our continued engagement in the months to come.
Dr Janet Egdell
Interim Chief Executive
Registrar General for Scotland and Keeper of the Records of Scotland