previous | contents | next

Scotlands Census 2001 Statistics on Moving Households and Moving Groups


Census Background

The 2001 Census itself

The 2001 Census was designed to collect information on the resident population on Census Day – 29th April 2001. Copies of the Census forms used are available on the Census pages of the GROS website (

The 2001 Census questions asked of all people covered:

and questions for those aged 16 to 74 also covered:

and, in addition, the person filling in the form in each household was asked about:

2001 Census Coverage Survey

The 1991 Census suffered from a degree of undercount (with some people and households being missed), the extent and nature of which was not identified by the 1991 Census Validation Survey. As a result, the detailed 1991 Census tables were not consistent with the final estimate of 1991 Census Day population. To avoid a similar situation following the 2001 Census, the Census itself was supplemented by the Census Coverage Survey (CCS).

The 2001 CCS was an intensive enumeration of a representative sample of postcodes in Scotland and was designed to be independent of the Census and provide the required data to estimate underenumeration. More detail on the conduct of the Census is available on the Census pages of the GROS website (

Quality of the results in 2001

The use of the One Number Census (ONC) methodology means that the results of the 2001 Census cover the entire population of Scotland, and are believed to be the most reliable results obtained by any Census in Scotland. However, there are a number of potential sources of error in the results. These include:

Some elements of incorrect information and biases will have been corrected during the editing process. Following this, the results have undergone an extensive quality assurance process, including checks against aggregated administrative information on particular groups such as students and the armed forces. Elements of dependency between the Census and Census Coverage Survey have been identified and corrected for, by cross-checking with alternative data sources.

Since the adjustments for underenumeration are estimates based on a sample survey, sampling errors can be used as a guide in assessing the accuracy of the adjustments. The sampling error can be used to construct a 95 per cent confidence interval - that is a range in which we can be 95 per cent confident that the true value lies. For the population of Scotland in 2001, this confidence interval is ± 0.3 per cent of the estimated population.


The Registrar General has a legal obligation not to reveal information collected in the Census about individual people and households. Protecting the Census data is of key importance and steps have been taken to safeguard confidentiality and protect against disclosure of personal information provided on the Census form. Further information is given in ‘Scotland’s Census – A guide to the results and how to obtain them’ – which is available on the Census pages of the GROS website ( or by contacting GROS Statistics Customer Services.


Urban/rural classification

The classification used in this paper is the six-fold urban/rural classification for 2001 used in the Scottish Household Survey. This is based on settlement size and remoteness (measured by drive times). Areas have been classified as follows:

Isolated houses and hamlets are included amongst "settlements of less than 3,000 people".

Populations covered in this paper

Different tables in this paper cover different sets of the population. Some examples of the sets used are:


In the 2001 Census, information was collected only on "usual residents". A usual resident at an address is generally defined as someone who spends most of their time living at that address. It includes:

However, it does not include:


Further information about the Census products, or assistance in finding the appropriate data or requests for additional data not part of the Census products, can be obtained from:

Statistics Customer Services
General Register Office for Scotland
Ladywell House
Ladywell Road
EH12 7TF

Tel: 0131 314 4299
Fax: 0131 314 4696
Website : |

A National Statistics publication

This is a National Statistics publication. It has been produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice and Release Practice Protocol. These statistics undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

previous | contents | next