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Maximising response

The aims for 2022 include:

  • maximising overall return rates
  • minimising the variation in return rates across geographical areas

We've designed our approach to contacting and supporting respondents with these aims in mind.

First contact

For 2022, we’re changing how we contact and introduce people to the census.

Every household in Scotland will receive a letter in the post containing an internet access code. They can use this code to complete the census online.

This has proved to be the best and most cost-effective approach in other censuses around the world.

We'll send letters out using an address register we developed for the 2011 census. We’ve kept it updated, and plan to keep making improvements for 2022.

Supporting respondents

Not everyone will want or be able to complete the census online. This could be because:

  • of their health
  • of language barriers or low literacy
  • they do not want to give their information online

We’re working to find out what barriers people face to completing online, and what we can do about it.

We’ll offer a full range of support to help people complete the census, including:

  • our helpline
  • web chat
  • visual interactive voice recognition
  • social media
  • providing local-based support

Where necessary, we will provide people with paper questionnaires.

Census staff

We will need a large field force to help us follow up non-responding households. Our design includes targeted follow up. So we expect the number of people needed will be less than in 2011.

Our objectives and design principles will influence how many people we will need. This will take into account our focus on online completion.

Enumeration base

Our enumeration base describes who to include in our count of the population.

Find out more about our enumeration base.