THE Scottish Government has launched the nation’s population census, which will cover every person in the country in a once-in-a-decade count. 

The results will be used to plan vital public services such as education, transport, health and social care while also documenting population density throughout Scotland.  

External Affairs Secretary, Angus Robertson, launched the census on Monday, stressing the importance of high participation. 


The National:

Census day will be March 20 but people can fill out the form now

Despite census day not taking place until March 20, households can fill in their forms now with most expected to complete the form online.

Robertson said: “Scotland’s census is unique in asking the whole nation important questions that help us to better understand the future needs of our communities. 

“The census helps the Scottish Government, local government and other service providers to plan services and make decisions about how public money will be spent on major services in our communities, including schools, roads, and hospitals. 

“It’s essential we maximise participation and ensure that everyone is heard and their needs captured.” 

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Pete Whitehouse, the director of statistical services at National Records of Scotland (NRS), also stressed the importance of the census. 

“It’s really important that everyone participates, whether online or by paper form. Help and support is available on our website or via our free helpline 0800 030 8308, for anyone who needs it.” 

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The census asks several different questions, including regarding a person’s age, sex, health and employment status, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

Last week, a last-ditch effort to stop Scots from being able to self-identify their gender on the census form was rejected. 

Fair Play for Women lost its appeal against a decision by Lord Sandison who ruled transgender people can give a different answer from the sex on their birth certificate without the need for a gender recognition certificate (GRC).

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To coincide with the launch of the count, a large-scale artwork created by Edinburgh-based Spanish artist Pilar Garcia de Leaniz will tour the country ahead of March 20, with different communities able to add to the work.