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Scotland's Census 2022

In 2022, Scotland will run its once-a-decade count of the population.

The census is the official count of every person in the country. It collects information about where you stay and the people who stay there.

The information you give helps make decisions about how public money will be spent on schools, roads, healthcare and other important services in your local community.

Find out more about what the census is and why we need it

You can also see examples of how the census has helped Scotland

How and when to take part

The census will open at the end of February 2022. We will write to every household in Scotland with instructions for taking part.

Census day will be Sunday, 20 March but you will be able to complete your questionnaire as soon as you receive your letter. You will be able to do this online using instructions we will include in the letter.

You will be able to order a paper questionnaire online or over the phone if you prefer to complete the census this way.

If you stay somewhere like a halls of residence, a care home or a hostel, the person who manages your accommodation will provide you with instructions for how to take part.

Find out about opportunities to help deliver the census by joining our team.

Help and support to complete your census

At the same time we write to you, we will launch a new website. This will be designed to help you complete your census. Through the website you will be able to:

  • complete the census online
  • find out more about the census
  • check who you should include in your census questionnaire
  • get help to answer questions
  • access guidance and support in other languages
  • access guidance in accessible formats, such as British Sign Language, audio, braille and large print
  • order a paper questionnaire or a replacement code to complete online

We will also offer support and help over the phone, through webchat and by email.

If you cannot complete the census yourself

You can ask for help to complete the census questionnaire if you cannot do it yourself from:

  • another member of your household or family who is aged 16 or over
  • a carer
  • someone you trust

A legal responsibility

The householder is responsible for completing the household census questionnaire.

The householder is the person who lives, or is present, at an address who:

  • owns/rents (or jointly owns/rents) the accommodation and/or
  • is responsible (or jointly responsible) for paying the household bills and expenses

Every household in Scotland must complete a census questionnaire.

People who are over 16 and living in places like halls of residence, care homes or a hostels are responsible for completing an individual census questionnaire.

Keeping your information secure and confidential

Your census return will be kept secure and will be confidential for 100 years.

It is against the law for anybody who works on or with the census to make public any personal details from the census during the 100-year period.

Find out more about how we protect your privacy

Make sure you do not get caught out by a census scam.