Scotland's census 2021: equality impact assessment

This version has been superseded by version 3 published in September 2020 at

1. Executive Summary

Scotland's Census 2021 is the official count of every person and household in Scotland. It is a unique survey in that it affects the whole of Scotland's population and there is a legal requirement to participate. This Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) presents evidence on the most significant potential impacts of the plans for Scotland's Census 2021 on equality groups in Scotland, recognising the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. For example, Scotland's Census 2021 will be predominantly online and it is recognised that this change in practice from 2011 may impact on particular groups of the population. This Equality Impact Assessment identifies those impacts and the activity undertaken to mitigate any potential negative impacts.

Scotland is a diverse nation and stakeholders representing a range of interests have been fundamental to shaping Scotland's Census 2021. In preparing this Equality Impact Assessment we have gathered evidence from a wide range of sources including those stakeholders as well as our own and others' experience of previous censuses. NRS held a series of stakeholder feedback sessions and conducted an online stakeholder survey to obtain feedback on the draft assessments. A report on the outcome of this period of consultation will be published on the Census website in due course.

This document is one of 8 impact assessments prepared for Scotland's Census 2021. Others include:

  • Human Rights Impact Assessment
  • Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment
  • Fairer Scotland Duty Impact Assessment
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Business Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Assessment of the impacts of Scotland's Census 2021 is an ongoing process which will continue up to Census day on 21st March 2021 and beyond.



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