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National identity

  • Mnemonic reference


  • Applicability


  • Type

    Derived variable


A person’s national identity is a self-determined assessment of their own identity with respect to the country or countries with which they feel an affiliation. This assessment of identity is not dependent on legal nationality or ethnic group.

These are simplified classifications we used to create outputs for the 2011 census.

View a full list of all possible national identity classifications.


Total number of categories 9

Code Name
1 Scottish identity only
2 British identity only
3 Scottish and British identity only
4 Scottish and any other identity
5 English identity only
6 Any other combination of UK identities (UK only)
7 Other identity only
8 Other identity and at least one UK identity
X No code required - comprises schoolchildren and full-time students living away from home during term time

Source question or variables

Question 14

The question is set up with 6 tick boxes and 1 text box.

Respondents may select one or more tick boxes, referring to their national identity. If their national identity is not in the first 5 boxes, they may tick other, and also use the text box to state their identity. 

The Variable assigned to National Identity is NATID, which is a derived variable created from the outputs of 2 variables, IDENUK and IDENINT. IDENUK represents the 6 tick boxes and IDENINT represents the text box.

Reason for asking

This new question allowed people to express their identity more fully.  For example, it allowed ethnic minorities to express a Scottish identity separately from recording their ethnic group, or to express their own national identity under the write-in option provided.

This information will be used to measure community cohesion by providing a clearer understanding of how people identify themselves within Scotland.

It will provide public bodies with a better understanding of the communities that they serve and combined with other statistical analysis, highlight areas of deprivation among different cultural groups.

This question has never been asked in any previous UK census.

England & Wales (2011) and Scotland (2001) comparison

The question in England & Wales (2011) is identical to the Scotland (2011) question. 

This question was not included in the 2001 census in Scotland.