Secure Microdata Files

Overview

The secure microdata files consist of two (non-overlapping) random samples of 10 per cent of anonymised people and households in the 2011 Census output database for Scotland.

The two secure microdata files are:

  • an individual file which includes person level data on 146 variables for over 534,000 individuals. The lowest level of geography available is council area. Records include those resident in households and communal establishments.
  • a household file which includes person and household level data on 220 variables for over 524,000 individuals within more than 247,000 households.

Background information and guidance on these microdata products can be found in the following:

How to access the data

The secure microdata files represent the products with the highest level of detail and the largest sample size. They are protected by the highest level of access limitation and initially are only available to approved researchers via the Virtual Microdata Laboratory (VML) managed by ONS.

Find out how to be accepted as an Approved Researcher (external link). Applications to access the data can be emailed to VML.Service.Desk@ons.gsi.gov.uk.  The process to approve projects, receive training and gain access to the secure data in the VML will take approximately two to three weeks depending on the level of demand. 

NRS is also currently investigating options for providing researchers with access to secure census microdata products for Scotland in additional secure environments.

ONS and NISRA have produced corresponding secure microdata products for England & Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Further information on these and how to apply for access can be found on the ONS and NISRA websites (external links).