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Census outputs schedule

The outputs release schedule page is where we share our plans for publishing census outputs. This includes details on the timing for publications and what will be included in each release.

This page will be updated regularly as we prepare to publish census outputs.

Census outputs release schedule 

We will publish the first census outputs on 14 September 2023.The table below summarises each phase of the release schedule and information on when that will be published.

 

Population estimates  

 

14 September 2023

Population by age and sex at Scotland and Local Authority level (rounded) 

Number of households at Scotland and Local Authority level (rounded) 

May 2024

Population by age and sex at all geographies down to output area (unrounded) 

Number of households at all geographies down to output area (unrounded) 

The 2022 output area boundaries will also be made available for download

Output areas are made up of approximately 50 households 

Topic data

 

Starting May 2024 

This phase will include a release for each topic below. These will include tables with one topic variable broken down by age and sex.

Data published at all geographies down to output area.

Provisional topic ordering is:

  • Ethnic group, national identity, language and religion 
  • Armed Forces veterans 
  • Sexual orientation and trans status or history 
  • Demography and migration 
  • Housing
  • Education, labour market and travel to work 
  • Health, disability and unpaid care 

Winter 2024/25

Multivariate census outputs - combining multiple topic variables in the same table. Published at all geographies down to output area

Analysis products

 

2025

Analytical reports - further analysis of key census topics

 

Microdata - samples of anonymised census records. Made available to accredited researchers in secure settings

 

Origin-destination data - statistics describing the movement of people, including migration and travel to work or study

 

Workplace and daytime population data - census data published using alternative population bases

 



Approach to outputs and consultation

When we publish outputs from the 2022 census, we want to help users: 

  • access as much census information as legally possible 
  • use the latest technology to access and analyse data 

To finalise our plans for census outputs we held an outputs consultation. This covered a number of aspects of our plans for publishing census outputs. 

We asked users to give us their views on: 

  • the order and sequencing of topics published 
  • the tools we use to publish data 
  • the geographical levels that data is published at 
  • how changes to census questions impact users’ planned work/research 
  • what they need from the new census questions 

Read more about the consultation and our responses to the feedback received.  

First release of census outputs

The first release of census data will be published on 14 September 2023. This release will include: 

  • Population estimates by age and sex at Scotland and Local Authority level (rounded)
  • Number of households estimates at Scotland and Local Authority level (rounded)  

Alongside the data tables we will publish commentary and analysis this will include comparing results against previous censuses. We will also publish supporting information on our quality assurance process and the methods used to produce these estimates. 

Unrounded population estimates  

The second release of census outputs will be in May 2024. This release will include: 

  • Population estimates by single year of age and sex at all geographies down to output area (unrounded)
  • Households estimates by household size at all geographies down to output area (unrounded)

  • Estimates of the usually resident population by whether living in a household or communal establishment at Scotland and Local Authority level (rounded) 

Output areas are made up of approximately 50 households.

 

Alongside this release we will publish commentary and analysis and update supporting information published where appropriate. The 2022 output area boundaries will also be made available for download. 

We aim to publish this data in the Flexible Table Builder. The table builder will be free to use. Creating an optional free account will give users access to more functionality including creating bespoke geography boundaries by grouping existing geographies. These boundaries can be saved and used again in later releases. 

Topic summaries 

The next phase in our release schedule will focus on topic data, published as univariate tables. This will be a phased release and we will start publishing tables in May 2024. 

Univariate tables include data from one variable, for example marital status or ethnic group. The data published through this phase will be comparable with the 2011 Quick Statistics (QS) tables. 

We also aim to publish a breakdown of topic variables by age and sex, where appropriate, for the Scotland and Local Authority geographies.  

The following topics will be covered during this phase: 

  • Ethnic group, national identity, language and religion 
  • Armed Forces veterans 
  • Sexual orientation and trans status or history 
  • Demography and migration 
  • Housing
  • Education, labour market and travel to work 
  • Health, disability and unpaid care 

The order above is provisional and may be subject to change.

Alongside this release we will publish updated metadata for the variables published, commentary and analysis for each topic. Where appropriate we will also update any existing supporting information.  

As part of this phase, we will update the area overviews section of the website. This will allow users to quickly compare summary statistics for the 2022 census across areas in Scotland or against previous censuses. 

Details on the full list of tables to be published is available in the topic summary plans spreadsheet. As we progress in our preparations for outputs, we will add proposed layouts for each table in this spreadsheet. 

Multivariate / Build your own tables

In this phase we will start to publish tables which combine variables released in the previous phase. We aim to start publishing outputs in the multivariate release in winter 2024/25.

In this phase we will update the Flexible Table Builder meaning that users will be able to create their own multivariate tables. Allowing users to further explore and understand the census results. All data published during this phase will be based on the usual resident population of Scotland on census day.

We will also publish pre-built census tables as part of this phase. The introduction of the Flexible Table Builder means that users will be able to create their own tables. This will reduce the need for as many standard tables as 2011, though we have agreed to produce standard tables like those from 2011 where we identify a user need. However, we will keep the commissioned table requests open to review any user needs for census data that is not met by the Flexible Table Builder.

For these pre-defined tables we will aim to publish down to Output Area where possible. If we identify a user need for more detailed variable classifications we may have to restrict the geographies the tables are available for.

Analytical reports 

After publishing the census topic data, we will provide analytical reports for a number of topics. These reports will enable us to give further insight in to the data from the 2022 census and they help to provide evidence for policymakers across Scotland and the UK. 

These reports are important outputs as they allow us to provide more detail on topics where the data is potentially disclosive for standard tables. 

We will produce analytical reports on a variety of topics where we identify a strong user need through our consultation and other stakeholder engagement. 

So far we have identified the following topics for analytical reports: 

  • Equalities
  • Gaelic 
  • Health 
  • Inhabited islands 
  • Sexual orientation 
  • Trans status or history 
  • Armed Forces veterans 

Microdata  

Microdata are small samples of anonymised records for whole households and individuals, which include some associated census characteristics. We aim to publish our microdata in 2025. 

Microdata products enable researchers to look at combinations of characteristics that are not generally available from the standard census tables, and to perform different types of analyses not possible from standard tabulations. 

Origin-Destination

Origin destination statistics describe the movement of people. This includes migration (from their address one year prior to the census) or travel to work or study (from their current address to their workplace address or place of study). We aim to publish Origin-Destination outputs from the 2022 census in 2025. 

We will publish flow tables which show basic flows between areas, univariate tables cross-tabulate flows with one other variable, and multivariate tables cross tabulate flows with more than one variable. 

Workplace and daytime 

The main population base for standard statistical outputs from Scotland's Census will be the usually resident population. However, the information collected in the census on travel to work/study also enables statistics to be produced for two alternative population bases: workplace population and daytime population. We plan to publish workplace and daytime outputs in 2025. 

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