Assessment of Censuses in the UK

Updated on 31 March 2022 to update status of the assessment process

We are carrying out an assessment of the Censuses in the UK, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). We will be assessing the extent to which the Censuses meet the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Statistics. 

In November 2021, we published our second set of reports for the 2021 Census in England and Wales and the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland. These reports identify areas of strength, good practice and innovation in ONS’s and NISRA’s Census planning and development as well as identifying some areas where improvements need to be made. Many of our considerations and judgements build on the preliminary findings as reported in our earlier assessment report published in October 2019.


Scotland’s Census – User views

For Scotland’s Census in 2022, we have begun the second phase of our assessment and aim to report our judgements in the autumn. The views of users, and potential users, of Census data are important to help us form our judgements – to help identify areas where Census offices are working well and how what they do could be improved.

The Code of Practice covers a wide range of principles around meeting the ‘public good’ such as the quality of the statistics and their need to add value and insight to users. We would very much welcome your feedback on Scotland’s Census developments and plans for Census outputs. Please let us know if you have any views, concerns or positive feedback that you want to share with us. We are particularly interested to hear your views on the following topics.

  1. Your use of Scotland’s Census data and statistics
    • For example: Which of the Census data and statistics do you use, and for what purposes? Are you more interested in UK Census data or data on Scotland?  Are you more interested in published summary statistics or in access to Census microdata? Are there particular data you use such as lower-level geographies? What questions do you need the statistics to be able to answer for you?
  2. Assuring the quality of Census data
    • For example – Are you aware of how NRS plan to ensure data quality? Do you have any concerns regarding the methods which will be used to produce the statistics?
  3. Census outputs
    • For example – To what extent do you feel that outputs from the current Census will provide the insights into Scotland’s population that you need? Are you aware of plans for Scotland’s Census outputs and any changes to Census questions?
  4. Engaging with users
    • For example – How satisfied are you with the way that NRS have engaged and consulted with you as they develop and deliver their plans for Census? Are there any areas where you would welcome improved engagement? Have you been involved in any consultation exercises? 

We welcome comments on any other aspect of these statistics which you think might be relevant to our assessment. To contribute to our assessment, please get in touch ideally by 22 April 2022 however we welcome comments throughout our assessment process. 

  • Email: You can contact us by email at regulation@statistics.gov.uk 
  • Telephone: If you would prefer to speak in person please call Marie McGhee – 01329 447702 

We may want to contact you to discuss your views. Please indicate whether you are happy for us to do so and provide contact details. We will keep a record of your contact details, emails and written correspondence with you and notes we record of any meetings with you. These records form an important part of the evidence base to help inform our regulatory judgements. Our Privacy Policy explains how we handle and protect your personal information, your legal rights and who to contact if you have any questions about how your personal information is being used.