One in four Highland households have yet to return census data last week
New records show just under a quarter of households in the Highlands have yet to file their census return with the deadline to do so just a week away.
National Records of Scotland (NRS) today confirmed that 700,000 households across Scotland have yet to meet their legal responsibility and submit their declaration.
The NRS said the number of people having completed the census varies across the country, with less than two-thirds of households in Glasgow having completed their census, compared to more than eight in ten households in Aberdeenshire.
With the census due to end on May 1, every household across Scotland is required to complete their declaration. Scots are reminded that failure to do so could result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Angus Robertson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, said: “I would like to thank the two million households who have already completed the census and taken their legal responsibility. But as we enter the final week, many returns remain unresolved. For the census to be effective and deliver its many benefits for future public services, it is essential that we achieve a higher response rate that reflects the diversity of our communities.
“Today, we call on all of our communities and organizations to come together and redouble their efforts to encourage participation. It is absolutely essential that every head of household in Scotland completes the census.
National Records of Scotland chief executive Paul Lowe added: “Each household statement is vital to the overall success of the census. Census data is essential to inform decisions about services that affect us all. We have put in place a number of additional interventions to support those who have not yet completed their declaration. This includes a range of additional household reminders. Our field team has already made over 750,000 home visits to support those who have not completed, and continue to make these visits.
“Help and support to complete your census is available on our website webcensum.gov.scot or through our free helpline 0800 030 8308. Paper forms are always available on request for those who need them.”
Cumulative total household return rate by local authority
Rate of return from local authorities to households (percentage)
City of Aberdeen 74.8
Argyll and Bute 75.4
City of Edinburgh 76.4
Dumfries and Galloway 79.5
City of Dundee 70.1
East Ayrshire 73.9
East Dunbartonshire 80.1
East Lothian 78.5
East Renfrew County 81.1
City of Glasgow 65.5
Moray eel 80.6
Nah-Eileanan Siar 78.7
North Ayrshire 72.4
North Lanarkshire 71.5
Orkney Islands 80.0
Perth and Kinross 78.2
Renfrew County 74.0
Scottish Borders 80.4
Shetland Islands 77.5
South Ayrshire 81.0
South Lanarkshire 75.4
West Dunbartonshire 69.1
West Lothian 75.7
The data shows the percentage of households counted up to 4 a.m. on April 25.
The 2022 census will benefit Scotland for many years to come; it asks questions on a range of topics, including the types of accommodation people stay in, family relationships, age, gender, health and employment status. New questions for the 2022 census include British Sign Language (BSL) use, passports held, armed forces background and new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and trans status.
Census letters were sent to over 2.7 million households representing 5.5 million people.
A population census has been taken every 10 years in Scotland since 1801, with the exception of 1941, because of the Second World War, and in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information and to complete the census online, visit census.gov.scot