Data collection and publication - sexual orientation: guidance

Guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on sexual orientation.

Recommended question

This is the recommended question for collecting data on sexual orientation. The question has been developed for use in online and paper surveys by NRS for Scotland's 2022 census, in which the question is voluntary. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recommends a single question regardless of survey format. Although the question recommended by the ONS is different to the one recommended here the response options are the same.

We recommend that the question be used as it appears here for use in all surveys in Scotland. The question should only be asked of respondents aged 16 and over:

Question: Which of the following best describes your sexual orientation? Tick one box only


1. Straight / Heterosexual
2. Gay or Lesbian
3. Bisexual
4. Other sexual orientation, please write in
5. Refusal (spontaneous only)
6. Prefer not to say (non-interviewer led questionnaires only)



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