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Ex Service

  • Mnemonic reference


  • Applicability


  • Type

    Primary Variable


An indicator for whether a person has previously served in the UK Armed Forces including whether or not they served in the Regular or Reserve Armed Forces.


Total number of categories 5

Code Name
1 Yes, previously served, Reserve Armed Forces
10 Yes, previously served, Regular Armed Forces
011 Yes, previously served, Regular Armed Forces and Reserve Armed Forces
100 No, never served in Armed forces
-5 No code required - comprises children under 16 and full-time students living away from home during term time.

Source question or variables

Question 26 - Have you previously served in the UK Armed Forces?

  • No
  • Yes, previously served in the Regular Armed Forces
  • Yes, previously served in the Reserve Armed Forces

Reason for asking

During Census 2022 question development, a user need was identified for data on the ex service community in Scotland. This data will be used to commission and deliver appropriate services to meet the needs of this community and monitor the effectiveness of these, as outlined in the Armed Forces Covenant. Specifically data is required to understand employment, education and health outcomes. In Scotland there is a requirement for this data to be split by type of service (regular or reserve)
as these groups may have differing needs.

England & Wales and Scotland (2011) Comparisons

The ex-service question was asked for the first time in Scotland's Census 2022 as no such question was asked in Census 2011.

This question is identical to the one asked in England & Wales in 2021.