Below are real-life examples of how organisations have found Census data invaluable in the planning of local services which support and promote equality amongst Scotland's communities.

Scotland Director for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Ros Micklem

“Between 1999 and 2009 the number of people in Scotland aged under 16 fell by 8 per cent and those aged over 75 increased by 14 per cent. The census is a vital source of this kind of information and helps to paint a complete and accurate picture of the population, providing anonymised information on the age, gender, ethnicity, disability and religious beliefs of Scotland’s people.

"For the Equality and Human Rights Commission this information is critical to help us in our work to eliminate discrimination, promote equality, protect and promote human rights and build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society."

Highland Council


Highland Council has made use of census statistics to assist the establishment of a multi-cultural community centre in Inverness.

An initial application by Scottish Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Moray Chinese Association to the Big Lottery Fund, seeking to fund research into the demand for and feasibility of a multi-cultural centre, was not successful.

Cath King Policy Manager

"In Highland, census data highlights the challenges of isolation and lack of support structures in rural areas for minority ethnic communities."

However with help from Highland Council, when it was resubmitted in May 2009, this time backed by demographic information from the census on ethnicity in Highland and in Scotland, the application was approved, and work continues towards the creation of the centre.

Census statistics have also been provided to other local voluntary organisations to support the submission of funding bids.

Highland Council also uses census information on ethnicity, nationality, religion and disabilities as data to inform its equality scheme.

Cath King, Policy Manager with The Highland Council, said:

“In Highland, census data highlights the challenges of isolation and lack of support structures in rural areas for minority ethnic communities. The case of the Big Lottery Fund application in 2009 was a good example of this, where clearer demographic information available from the census can make all the difference.”

Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

Varied uses but key for SCoJeC is evidence from census that enables them to demonstrate with authority that there are Jewish people in all Local Authorities and Health Board areas across the Scotland.