The Broons do their bit to help shape Scotland’s Future

One of the nation’s best-loved fictional families, The Broons, got down to completing the census at Number 10 Glebe Street, Auchenshoogle on Census Day (Sunday 27 March).

The storyline saw Paw Broon attempting to fill in the form amid the confusion of who exactly was staying chez Broon on census night itself. The cartoon strip ended with a cameo from Scotland’s political leaders who realised how important the Broon’s questionnaire was to the nation’s population statistics.

Organisations in Scotland back the 2011 Census

With less than a week to go until census day on Sunday, March 27, organisations throughout Scotland are backing the population count.

The planning and allocation of billions of pounds worth of public services depends on everyone being included in the 2011 Census, and organisations endorsing the once-a-decade event include student groups, business users, equality groups, councils and health and fire services. Read about it on the census website.

Enumerators take to the streets

Enumerators take to the streets.

Census takers (enumerators) are now hand delivering around 2.5 million census questionnaires throughout Scotland: every household should have a copy by Census Day on Sunday March 27.

You can fill in your questionnaire as soon as it arrives – provided your answers cover the people living or staying with you on the night of 27 March.

Most queries about the census are answered on our website and our helpline is now open.

Scotland’s Census team at The Gathering 2011

Members of Scotland’s Census communications team have been out and about this week at The Gathering – Scotland’s voluntary sector fair. Members of the team have been manning a census information stall at the annual event which attracts around 3,000 visitors over 2 days. The team has used the event as an opportunity to network with delegates and discuss the importance of the census and how the information it generates can assist the voluntary sector in future.

Census launch

The census only comes around once every 10 years and today our activity to explain what the census is, and why it matters, moved up a gear with the launch of our ‘Painting by Numbers’ advertising campaign.

The launch saw children from Edinburgh’s Elsie Inglis Nursery and residents of neighbouring Elsie Inglis Nursing Home brush up on their artistic skills by filling in a large census date poster.

The ‘Painting by Numbers’ campaign demonstrates that we are all responsible for filling in the blanks to make up a complete picture of Scotland and its communities.

Painting by Numbers combines the talents of three Scottish artists: illustrator Alan McGowan, animator Garry Marshall and musician James Grant. Designed by The Gate, it has four phases – informing people about the census, encouraging and motivating them to take part and then highlighting that people who try to avoid taking part may be fined up to £1,000.

Read our news release to find out more.

Scottish census teams now fully recruited

Local census teams across Scotland are now all recruited and ready to start delivering the questionnaires from 7 March.

2011 – Shaping our future

Over the last 15 months we have charted 150 years of Scotland’s Registrar General’s responsibility for the country’s census. Just by dipping into each decade you can see how the nation has changed significantly in areas such as industry, technology, immigration and culture. Scotland’s Census is unique in its capacity to chart our history, inform key decisions about the level of services required, and show how our country grows and develops.

It is fascinating being able to track the developments in our country and view the trends of the last 150 years, including aspects such as the shift from a population with a high number of young children to one consisting of a large number of older people.

While it is a unique historical record it’s also important to remember that the census is a living statistical mechanism that changes with society. The 2011 Census for example, will offer most householders the option to complete their census questionnaire online for the first time, in English or Gaelic.

One common aspect of every modern census has been the emphasis placed on the security of personal details. All such information collected through the census is safeguarded by law and kept confidential for 100 years. Only in 2111 will the individual 2011 census records be available to future generations as a rich source of information about 21st century Scotland.

Help shape Scotland’s future by taking part on the 27 March 2011!

2001 – Devolution in Scotland

The 2001 Census in Scotland was the first to be approved by the devolved Scottish Parliament created in 1999, rather than by the Westminster Parliament. The Scottish Parliament, like its counterpart in London, insisted on an important change to the question set – the inclusion of a voluntary question about religion. This was the first question about religion to be included in the census since 1851.

For the first time, the bulk of the results were made available free of charge on the internet, through a website entitled Scotland’s Census Results Online (SCROL). The aim of the SCROL website was to improve the use of, and access to, census statistics using visualisation and analysis tools to help the user understand and interpret the results. This enabled the General Register Office for Scotland to publish outputs much faster than before: most of the results from the 2001 Census were made available by March 2003.

The population in 2001 was 5,062,011, a little over three times the size of the population at the first statutory census in 1801.

The SCROL website will be refreshed and updated in time to publish Scotland’s first Census 2011 results by Autumn 2012.

1991 – Ethnicity Question

There was one big change in the question set for 1991 – the inclusion of an ethnic group question in a British census for the first time. This followed careful testing to find a broadly-acceptable wording and a final trial in 1989 in Berwickshire, East Lothian and Edinburgh. It proved to be one of the major successes in the 1991 Census and its inclusion provided information of great value throughout the subsequent decade.

The results showed that 1.3 per cent of the population of Scotland in 1991 identified themselves as non-white, with the largest number of people – after the White ethnic group – being the Pakistani group.

By the 2001 Census, around two per cent of Scotland’s population were from a minority (non-White) ethnic group.

GROS has published 2001 Census Data for Ethnicity and Religion on the Scotland’s Census Results on line (SCROL) website.

A question on Ethnicity has also been included in the 2011 Census questionnaire.

1981 – Black Gold

The discovery of oil in the North Sea resulted in a significant increase to the population of Scotland’s North East and Shetland Islands. This can be clearly seen if you look at the 1971 and 1981 census results.
For example, the population of Shetland had fallen to nearly 17,000 by the mid 60’s, and the 1981 Census shows that between 1971 and 1981 the island’s population rose by a staggering 57%.

Oil soon became the main industry in Scotland’s North East, and between 1971 and 1981 the population of Aberdeen city increased by 14%.

Census results can shape Scotland’s future. For instance where there are significant increases in population levels in any area – as illustrated above – the data can help the government to effectively plan adequate services and other resources to meet the needs of these communities.