Data collection and publication - religion/belief: guidance

Guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on religion/belief.

Recommended question

The Scottish Government recommends the following question on religion is used in order to harmonise with other data sources in Scotland:

Question: What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?


  • 1. None
  • 2. Church of Scotland
  • 3. Roman Catholic
  • 4. Other Christian, please write in
  • 5. Muslim, write in denomination or school
  • 6. Hindu
  • 7. Buddhist
  • 8. Sikh
  • 9. Jewish
  • 10. Pagan
  • 11. Another religion or body, please write in
  • 12. Refusal (spontaneous only)
  • 13. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)

The wording of the question is the same as that used in the 2022[6], 2011[7] and 2001[8] Censuses, in which this question is voluntary.

Example question on religious practice

If further information on religious practice is required a follow on question about practice can be used, such as:

Question: Do you consider that you are actively practising your religion?


  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No
  • 3. Refusal (spontaneous only)
  • 4. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)



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