Methodology and Quality Assurance

How the 2011 Census population estimates were obtained

The main purpose of the census is to provide an accurate population count. Although every effort is made to ensure everyone is included in the census, inevitably some individuals are missed. This under-counting does not usually occur uniformly across all geographical areas or across other sub-groups (for example, by age and sex) of the population.

To fill the gap, NRS implemented a coverage assessment and adjustment process to estimate the population that was missed. In addition, this process identified and adjusted for the people who were counted more than once or who were counted in the wrong place. Carrying out this work allowed a census estimate of the entire population to be obtained. A summary of the statistical methodology used to derive the 2011 Census population and household estimates for Scotland for Release 1C is detailed in this paper:-

Release 1C - How the 2011 Census population estimates were obtained.
(Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (134 Kb)

Link to supporting tables

You can see the summary produced to accompany previous Releases:-

Quality Assurance

The 2011 Census population results go through a rigorous quality assurance process prior to their publication. This document describes the quality assurance which has been carried out in preparation for Releases 1A, 1B and 1C of statistics from Scotland's Census.

Quality Assurance Process. (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (42 Kb)

To accompany Release 1B, we provided a Quality Assurance Pack (Excel - 662 kb - opens in a new window) to place the census population and household estimates for each council area in the context of comparative information from non-census data sources.

Information on quality issues identified are reported in the metadata associated with variables in published tables.

Additional documents will be published on this page which summarise quality issues with topics.

Below is a summary of the issues which were identified in data related to the relationships of residents within households, to accompany Release 2C.

Households Relationships Data Quality Issues (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (28 Kb)

More detailed information on the statistical methodologies and quality assurance underpinning the census results are available on the Census Methodology page.