National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

One week left for remaining 700,000 households

One week left for remaining 700,000 households

Saturday, 23 Apr 2022
Image showing a postal worker holding a census letter

Two million households have now submitted their census response, National Records of Scotland have revealed, as they said the estimated 700,000 remaining have just one week left to fill in their return. 

The census is due to close on May 1 and anyone who fails to submit their response by then could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1000. 

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

“It’s essential that every householder in Scotland completes the census; it’s also your legal responsibility.

“I would ask everyone who has not submitted their census return to do so now. It only takes a few minutes to answer questions about yourself, your household, and the place where you live; the information gathered is vital in shaping important services in your community, from the building of new schools and hospitals to improving transport links and understanding health needs.

“We know that there are people who have begun the census online but haven’t completed it, and that others have requested a paper copy but haven’t yet returned it. If this applies to you, please act now and use the support available to ensure we receive your response by the deadline.” 

National Records of Scotland Chief Executive Paul Lowe added: 

“Thank you to the two million households who have already submitted their response. For anyone that still hasn’t, I would urge you to act now. Help and support to complete your census is available on our website or via our free helpline 0800 030 8308. Paper forms are still available on request for those who need them.” 

The 2022 census 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 the 2022 census include use of British Sign Language (BSL), passports held, previous armed forces history and new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and trans status. 

Census letters have been issued to more than 2.7 million households representing 5.5 million people.

A census of the population has been taken every 10 years in Scotland since 1801, with the exception of 1941, because of World War Two and in 2021 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information and to complete the census online, visit