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Questionnaire completion

Every household in Scotland is required to complete a census questionnaire.

It’s important that we get accurate and consistent information from the census. We’re supporting people and households to complete the census through:

  • providing household, communal establishment, and individual census questionnaires
  • offering questionnaires online and on paper
  • providing a range of assistance

Read more about how we designed the census questionnaire.

Completing online

All of our questionnaires will be available to complete online using a computer, tablet, mobile phone or any other device used to access the internet. These are:

  • household questionnaire
  • individual questionnaire
  • communal establishment manager questionnaire
  • communal establishment individual questionnaire

We will offer all of these in English and Gaelic online, except the communal establishment manager questionnaire.

Households will be able to record up to 30 individuals on their online household questionnaire.

With some exceptions, we will promote online completion as the quickest and easiest option for households and communal establishments.

Completing on paper

People who do not want to complete the census online will be able to request any of the questionnaires on paper in English.

Any household that requests a paper questionnaire can still change their mind and complete online.

We will offer paper as the only option for prisons and some population groups.

The household paper questionnaire will have space for 5 individuals. If a household has more than 5 people, they can request a continuation questionnaire with space to record more individuals.

Additionally, we will make the household paper questionnaire available in large print.

Questionnaire types

Household questionnaire

Most addresses in Scotland will complete the household questionnaire. There are two types of questions in the household questionnaire:

  • household questions
  • individual questions

The household questions ask about the address and who is living or staying there.

The individual questions ask about each of the people who stay at the address, including any babies or children.

Not everyone will have to answer each question, depending on their circumstances.

Individual questionnaires

If someone in a household wishes to provide answers in private, they can request an individual questionnaire. They must be aged 16 or over to complete an individual questionnaire.

If you they do choose to complete an individual questionnaire:

  • they must still be included as a household member on the household questionnaire
  • we will use answers from their individual questionnaire if they are different from those on the household questionnaire
  • we will not inform the household of their request to complete an individual questionnaire
  • they have a legal responsibility to complete it

Communal establishment manager

The communal establishment manager questionnaire is for communal establishments like hospitals, schools, or prisons.

It asks for some basic information about the establishment, like how many people usually stay there. The manager of the establishment will be responsible for completing this questionnaire.

Find out more about communal establishments.

Communal establishment individual

The communal individual questionnaire is for people staying in communal establishments on census night. It asks the same questions as the household individual questionnaire, plus some additional ones.