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Publication of Scotland’s Census methodology paper

National Records of Scotland (NRS) has published an updated methodology paper, setting out changes it has made to its approach to securing high quality census outputs and population estimates.

NRS Interim Chief Executive Janet Egdell said:

“I am delighted to have seen the ground-breaking work that NRS has carried out to enhance our approach to producing census statistics. We have worked closely with international experts on our International Steering Group (ISG) to make greater use of administrative data than initially planned.

“We are confident that using these methods we can ensure that Scotland’s Census delivers the many benefits required by users across Scotland.”

NRS Interim Chief Executive Janet Egdell

The ISG was established by NRS in May 2022. It provided assurance that the census was ready to move on from the collect phase. It has also provided direction and support as NRS adapts and implements its design for the production of statistics.

Professor James Brown, Professor of Official Statistics Sydney, Chair of the International Steering Group, says in the foreword to the report: “These decisions were made on a sound methodological basis, providing NRS with a strong position for the statistical processing phase.”

The updated methodology is part of NRS’s wider strategic approach to demonstrating confidence in the census data that will be produced, beginning with the first outputs, to be published in autumn 2023.

NRS will demonstrate confidence in first outputs from the census in three ways:

1) National Statistics accreditation
2) Sound statistical methods
3) Coherence with other published statistics and data.

A recent letter from Janet Egdell to Scottish Government Chief Statistician Ally McAlpine set out the assurance around these three elements. It included the role of the ISG. 

Janet's letter and Alistair’s response are available below.