Call for veterans to complete census

Question on Armed Forces service included for first time.

Armed Forces veterans are being urged to fill in Scotland’s Census to help improve support.

For the first time, Scotland’s Census includes a question about whether people have served in the Armed Forces following campaigning by Poppyscotland and The Royal British Legion.

Every household in Scotland must complete the census and the answers provide the information needed to make important decisions on funding for services such as education, housing and healthcare.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans Keith Brown said:

“The inclusion of this question is important because it will help the Scottish Government and others develop a more complete picture than ever before of our veterans population in Scotland.

“This will help us as we continue to improve the provision of support for former Armed Forces personnel and their families.

“It will give a clearer insight into the ages and circumstances of veterans which can also help us decide where to focus support.”

Interim Chief Executive of Poppyscotland Mark Collins said:

“The significance of a question on veterans being added to the Census cannot be overstated. It will have a transformative effect on the way in which support for our Armed Forces community is shaped and delivered in the years ahead.

“In 2014 Poppyscotland undertook the largest ever survey of military veterans and their families and it estimated our Armed Forces community to be around 530,000 people. Since then, we have been calling on the Scottish Government to include a veterans’ question in the Census through our Count Them In campaign, so to see this included in the 2022 Census is a proud moment for Poppyscotland.

“Whether you did National Service in the 1950s or saw active duty more recently, or whether you served in a regular or reserve capacity, we urge all veterans to tick “yes”.”


 Census guidance for those who have previously served in the UK Armed Forces

How to complete the census online

Census Day is Sunday 20 March 2022.

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.

The census asks questions about people’s age, sex, home and living situation, employment, education and qualifications, as well as ethnicity.


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