About Statistics in Scotland


Most of the statistics produced and published by the Scottish Government are National Statistics. This is the name for official statistics which have been assessed for compliance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


The primary aim of official statistics in Scotland is to provide an accurate up-to-date comprehensive and meaningful picture of the economy and society to support the formulation and monitoring of economic and social policies by government and others.


The Scottish Government may also publish some statistics as 'Experimental Statistics; data being developed'. These are new official statistics that are undergoing evaluation. These are published early in the production cycle in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development, and as a means to build in quality at an early stage; these statistics will always be clearly labelled. This approach is consistent with the Code of Practice: Principle 4, Practice 5.


Official statistics in Scotland are also produced by Crown Bodies and a number of other public bodies named by Parliamentary Order.

Accessing Our Data

The Scottish Government wants to make it easier for you to access the statistics and data that you're looking for; whether that be through formatted tables available on our statistics pages, or secure access to the various microdata that underlies those statistics.

The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires us to ensure that official statistics are readily accessible to all users. For example, we are committed to making statistics available in as much detail as is reliable and practicable, subject to legal and confidentiality constraints, offering choice and flexibility in the format according to the level of detail required.

Check out our 'Access our Data' pages for more information about how to access the data you need.

Compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics

The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm's length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The Authority's statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.

Official statistics assessed as compliant with the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Official Statistics are designated as National Statistics. Bodies that produce National Statistics are required to ensure that the Code continues to be observed. For other official statistics, compliance with the Code is not a formal requirement but is expected.

The Code of Practice requires producers to publish corporate policies and other information to demonstrate compliance with the principles set out in the code. The following section provides the Scottish Governments policies on revisions and corrections, quality assurance and confidentiality as well as links to published information on forthcoming publications, administrative sources and breaches of the code.