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.

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