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Scotland's Census 2022: sex question guidance

How do I answer this question?

If you are transgender the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate. You do not need a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

If you are non-binary or you are not sure how to answer, you could use the sex registered on your official documents, such as your passport.

A voluntary question about trans status or history will follow if you are aged 16 or over. You can respond as non-binary in that question.

I am answering for someone else. How do I answer?

If you are answering for someone else, where possible you should ask them how they want to answer. If they are away, select the answer you think they would choose.

You do not need to know or ask whether they have a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

Why is this question asked?

The sex question provides vital information for organisations on national and local population statistics, and for long term analysis, as it has been asked since 1801. This question is also used for equality monitoring.

Answering individual questions in private

Any member of the household aged 16 or over can use an individual questionnaire to provide answers in private.

They can do this either online using an Internet Access Code or on paper.

If a person chooses to complete an individual questionnaire:

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

You can find out more about completing an individual questionnaire.


Your census return will be kept secure and will be confidential for 100 years.

It is against the law for anybody who works on the census to make public any personal details from the census during the 100 year period.

You can find out more about how we store and use information.

Who should answer this question?

Everyone should answer this question.