This page provides information on our plans to produce statistical outputs from Scotland’s Census 2022.

Plans for census outputs have been informed by on-going engagement work to ensure that outputs meet the needs of data users.

Plans for Scotland’s Census outputs

The Scotland’s Census website will be the main platform for the dissemination of Census outputs. We are currently working to redesign the Census website to ensure that it is accessible and user-friendly.

A key innovation for Scotland’s Census 2022 will be the availability of a flexible table builder tool. This will allow users to create their own tables from Census data. This will reduce the need for NRS to create standard tables, of which there were more than 400 in 2011. However we will continue to create standard tables for most census variables by age and sex for ease of reference. As in 2011, we will also have a commissioned table service for users to request a table that is not available in the flexible table builder.

As in 2011, we will also create specialist output products such as Census Microdata and Origin-Destination data tables. Plans for these specialist products are at an early stage, however we anticipate that these will largely be similar to the 2011 Microdata and 2011 Origin-Destination outputs.

All outputs from Scotland’s Census 2022 will include accompanying metadata information and variable classifications to provide context on the output variables and geographies.

For more information on our plans for the creation of outputs and supporting information, please refer to our Scotland's Census 2022 Outputs Strategy.

Quality Assurance of outputs

Census outputs will be subject to quality assurance checks to ensure that they provide high quality information that meets the needs of data users. For more information on the quality assurance activities for outputs from Scotland’s Census 2022 please refer to our Statistical Quality Assurance Strategy.


NRS will use statistical methods to protect the confidentiality of households and individuals in outputs from Scotland Census 2022. For more information on our plans to protect privacy in Census outputs, please refer to the Confidentiality and Statistical Disclosure Control pages.

UK Harmonisation

The UK National Statistician, Registrar General for Scotland and The Registrar General for Northern Ireland released a ‘Statement of agreement’ in October 2015 on the conduct of the Censuses.

The agreement recognised that census outputs should constitute consistent, coherent and accessible statistics for the UK, individual countries and geographic areas within each country. Common definitions and classifications, typically based on international standards, should be agreed, used and published. Common topics and questions should be agreed wherever possible, with the intention of making available consistent census outputs across the UK.

For more information on how National Records of Scotland work with the other UK censuses to harmonise our statistical methodology for UK Data Users, as well as share best practice and lessons learned, please see the UK Census Data tab of this website.

Stakeholder events

We have updated data users on plans for Census outputs dissemination at a number of public events:

  • Statistical Disclosure Control and Outputs Event – June 2017
    • Here we outlined our Statistical Disclosure Control strategy and early plans for census outputs.
  • Scotland’s Census Outputs Strategy Stakeholder Event – February/March 2018
  • Census Questions and Outputs Event – November/December 2018
    • Here we presented our initial plans for outputs from questions new to Scotland’s Census 2022 and gathered feedback from users on their requirements for outputs from new questions.
  • Outputs Stakeholder Events – June 2019
    • During these events we discussed plans for census output geographies and outlined our initial plans for specialist census outputs such as microdata and origin-destination data. We also used these events to gather feedback from users on the Scotland’s Census 2011 website and proposals for the Scotland’s Census 2022 site via an interactive website workshop.
  • Statistical Methodology Stakeholder events – February 2020
    • At these events we outlined our plans for the dissemination of outputs as part of our broader statistical methodology for Scotland’s Census.

We will continue to use stakeholder events to update users on our plans for outputs from Scotland’s Census 2022 and to gather feedback from data users on our proposals for outputs dissemination.

Get Involved

NRS are seeking feedback on the content provided on these pages to help us provide the information most relevant to you. To share your views and information needs, please contact scotlandscensus@nrscotland.gov.uk.