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Key facts and figures

Please note: This page contains return rates based on data from the census collection operation. These return rates have now been superseded by our final response rates.

We have published a report on our approach to quality assurance alongside our rounded population estimates publication. The quality report includes the final response rates at person and household level, and explains how those differ from the return rates provided on this page.

The census collection phase took place between 28 February and 1 June 2022 and saw significant engagement across Scotland. As well as online services, we offered help and support over the phone and on the doorstep.

Census activity

Letters and correspondence

During the collection phase we sent out over 9 million letters and other correspondence across Scotland.

This included over:

  • 2.7 million initial contact letters
  • 1.4 million initial reminders in late March
  • 1.1 million second reminders in April
  • 679,000 further reminders
  • 340,000 paper questionnaires that were requested by households or individuals
  • 115,000 paper questionnaires we proactively sent out to help people to complete their census

Field operations

Our field staff:

  • visited over 680,000 households
  • made over 1.6 million household visits in total
  • handed out over 92,000 paper questionnaires to households

Online and over the phone

During the census:

  • our online questionnaire was the main collection method, with almost 9 out of 10 returns submitted online
  • we received over 3.5 million visitors to our website
  • our contact centre handled over 748,000 calls, 34,000 emails and 33,000 web chats
  • we sent out over 2,400 large print questionnaires
  • over 15,000 copies of translated questionnaire guidance were downloaded from our website or requested from our contact centre

Return rates

The national return rate for households was 89%.

Chart 1 at the bottom of this page shows how the cumulative return rate changed during the collection phase.

Chart 2 shows the return rates in each Local Authority. Eighteen Local Authorities had return rates higher than 90%, 30 met the 85% Local Authority target and all are above 80%. 

The return rate increased by 10 percentage points from the start of the extension period.

Reasons for not yet completing Scotland’s Census and CCS hard refusals

At the end of May, census field staff asked around 1,200 householders why they had not yet completed the census.

The most popular reason was that they were too busy.

For the census coverage survey, just over 10,900 households refused to participate.

The most popular reason was that they were not interested.

See more information on reasons for not yet completing Scotland’s Census and CCS hard refusals.