Census Coverage Survey

The Census Coverage Survey (CCS) is a voluntary survey that takes place six weeks after census day. It collects information from around 1.5% of postcodes in Scotland. The CCS is used, along with census data, to help estimate the total population of Scotland.

The primary aim of the CCS is to gather demographic data (such as age and sex) which can be used in combination with census data to provide population estimates.

The CCS data is linked to the census data and the resulting output allows us to identify the persons and households counted in both the census and the CCS or those counted in one but not the other.

Estimation & Adjustment uses the matched CCS and census data to estimate the number of persons or households that have been missed in the census. The census data is then adjusted to account for the missing individuals to provide a more accurate estimation of the true population in Scotland.

The CCS is therefore a crucial factor in ensuring a complete, well-rounded population count.

More information on the CCS can be found in the following External Methodology Assurance Panel documents:

  • PMP002: Census Coverage Survey (CCS) Sample Methodology
  • PMP003: Census Coverage Survey (CCS) Sample Allocation and Reserve Sample Methodology
  • PMP008: Coverage adjustment for communal establishments
  • PMP010: Census to Census Coverage Survey (CCS) linking
  • PMP012: Census Coverage Survey Household Links

Statistical Methodology Rehearsal 2020

From April to June 2020, National Records of Scotland (NRS) carried out a rehearsal of several statistical methodologies for Scotland’s Census 2022. The census to CCS linking methodology was tested during this rehearsal.

The evaluation reports from this rehearsal can be found on the Statistical Methodology Rehearsal 2020 web page, which will be published in September 2020.

Statistical Quality Assurance

NRS has published a Statistical Quality Assurance Strategy which provides more information on how the CCS to census linking process, and others, will be quality assured.

UK Harmonisation

NRS aims to harmonise statistical methodologies with other UK census offices as much as possible. We share ideas and provide feedback on methodologies through harmonisation working groups with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

For more information on how NRS work with the other UK censuses to harmonise our statistical methodology for UK Data Users, as well as share best practice and lessons learned, please see the UK Census Data tab of this website.

Stakeholder Events

In February 2020, NRS ran Statistical Methodology Stakeholder events aimed at the general public and data users. These events gave attendees a high level overview of what happens to census data from when NRS receives census responses through to producing the outputs.

During these events, we sought feedback to help to further develop our plans to ensure the highest quality of outputs for our users. Slides from the event are published on the event page of the Scotland’s Census 2022 website.

Get Involved

NRS are seeking feedback on the content provided on these pages to help us provide the information most relevant to you. To share your views and information needs, please contact scotlandscensus@nrscotland.gov.uk).