National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

More than a million visits to households in census completion drive

More than a million visits to households in census completion drive

Monday, 16 May 2022
Image of postal worker holing a census letter

Census staff have carried out more than 1 million doorstep visits in the drive to support households to complete their census, according to new figures from National Records of Scotland (NRS).

From today census staff will also be working with householders to complete their census on the doorstep - online or on paper - as part of a package of support measures to encourage completion.

Census returns must be submitted by the end of May; failure to do so could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1000.

Angus Robertson, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, said:

“It is vital that we secure as high a response rate as possible so that the census can be effective in delivering its many benefits for future public services. Census data informs how and where public money is spent on vital services, from the building of new schools and hospitals to improving transport links and understanding health needs.

“From today, households will be offered extra help to complete their census at their door by a member of our team. I would encourage everyone to take up this offer and fill in their census as soon as possible.

“Information and guidance is also available online at, and you can speak to an agent on our free helpline 0800 030 8308 if you have specific questions or need a paper questionnaire. Language interpretation is also available via our helpline and the census form is also available on paper with guidance available in Braille, large print and audio.”

Paul Lowe, NRS Chief Executive, added:

“Thank you to those who have already completed the census. By taking part you are ensuring not just your own needs are captured but those of your family and your community too.

“This information helps to ensure that the right services are provided in the right places. It is used by the Scottish Government, local councils, charities and a host of other organisations who provide essential services.”

“I would urge everyone who has not completed to do so immediately and before the end of May, to avoid the risk of prosecution.”

You can complete the census online at If you need one you can get a new internet access code from the website via text, email or letter or via the call centre on 0800 030 8308. You can also complete on a paper form which can be ordered from the free helpline or online.

Scotland’s Census 2022 will benefit Scotland for many years; it asks questions on a range of topics, including the types of accommodation people stay in, household relationships, age, sex, health and employment status. New questions for this year’s census include use of British Sign Language (BSL), passports held, previous armed forces history and new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and trans status.