CENSUS: Online census completions hit two million milestone

A total of 86% of households have already returned the census online or on paper

Over two million households return Scottish census online as return rate exceeds 85%
Over two million households have completed the census online for the first time.

The online census return has hit its two million milestone mark as 99% of households have opted to return the once in a decade form digitally.

According to the latest figures released by National Records of Scotland (NRS), the current national completion figure stands at 86%, with the majority submitting the form online and around 250,000 households returning it by paper.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Scotland’s census 2022 passed the 85% return rate milestone in 25 local authority areas.

It is the first time that Scots have had the chance to complete the census, which happens every ten years, online.

Paul Lowe, chief executive of NRS, said that the online return rate of 99% “reflects the popularity and acceptability” of the approach and will inform how the census is run in the future.

He said: “As the first ever principally digital census in Scotland, it’s been fantastic to see more than two million households choose to complete their census successfully online.

“Earlier this week we also crossed a number of milestones, with over 2.2 million household responses received, exceeding an 85% national return rate and 25 local authorities exceeding 85%. I want to thank everyone who has already filled in their census.”

He went on to urge those who have not already completed the census to do so.

Mr Lowe added: “You only have until the end of the month to make sure that your voice is heard.  Census data is used to make important decisions on vital public services like schools, hospitals, housing and public transport, so filling it in really makes a difference to you, your family and your community.”

There have been over 1.58 million visits by census field staff to the doorsteps of people who have not already filled the census in and 370,000 calls to the contact centre as well as 65,000 emails and web chat inquiries answered.

If you haven’t completed your census visit the website census.gov.scot or call the freephone helpline number on 0800 030 8308.


  1. This piece has all the hallmarks of a spin story.

    The 2022 has been a disaster. Nearly a million households failed to return a census form by the close out date. Tens of millions of pounds additional money had to be spent on extending the survey period, running advertising campaigns.

    Indeed if this is such a success story, which it isn’t, why has their needed to be 1,580,000 field visits. This is a huge number of visits for any agency to have to admit to and it reflects the desperation by an incompetent government to try and make the best of an utter shambles.

    Moreover, with nearly 400,000 households still not having returned a form the shambles becomes even clearer. Full of joke questions about gender and ethnicity the example of one ethnicity being showman coupled with legislation allowing folks to change their gender just about depending on the day of the week, I shudder to think about the veracity and worth of the information collected.

    At least the resident hard-man Angus Robertson MSP has now gone quiet about using the law to punish people fo for not returning a census. Cos it’s a success story, ho ho ho.

  2. Yes and here’s another.

    The Government say 99% of surveys have been returned online. They also say however through the National Records of Scotland that 250,000 surveys were returned on paper.

    These figures don’t gel. They both cannot be right.

    If 99% of surveys were returned online whilst 250,000 were returned on paper this means that in broad terms 1% equals 250,000 surveys. And if 250,000 is 1% then 100% must be 25,000,0000 surveys.

    Don’t know about anyone else but when you read figures like this you wonder about the rubbish being churned out. Even I know there isn’t 25 million households in Scotland, unless Nicola’s hiding them somewhere.

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