National identity

Mnemonic (reference code):  NATID

Type: Derived variable

Definition: 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.

Applicability: Person

Classification: See National Identity Classification for a detailed classification list




Scottish identity only


British identity only


Scottish and British identity only


Scottish and any other identity


English identity only


Any other combination of UK identities (UK only)


Other identity only


Other identity and at least one UK identity


No code required

Total Number of Categories: 9

Not applicable category (X) comprises: Schoolchildren and full-time students living away from home during term time.

Source question:

What do you feel is your national identity?

Tick all that apply.

  • Scottish
  • English
  • Welsh
  • Northern Irish
  • British
  • Other, please write in

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 question in England & Wales (2011) is identical to the Scotland (2011) question. However, this question was not included in the 2001 census.

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.

Reasons 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.


To see which of our published standard, additional and commissioned tables use this variable please use the Table Index.