Scotland's census 2021: equality impact assessment

This version has been superseded by version 3 published in September 2020 at

4. Recommendations and Conclusions

Impact assessments, including this Equality Impact Assessment, are an ongoing process which will not conclude until the closure of the Scotland's Census 2021 programme, following the release of census data outputs. This assessment report reflects the position following the Census Rehearsal in October 2019 and will help to inform the deliberations of the Scottish Parliament around the Census Order and Regulations. Engagement with the Parliament has taken place concurrently with engagement with stakeholders around each of the impact assessment findings to date, and the feedback and input received has been captured and fed into the assessment process.

NRS undertook a period of consultation throughout September 2019 for each of the Impact Assessments accompanying the Census Order. Impact Assessments have been updated to reflect feedback where appropriate. A report on the consultation has been published on the Scotland's Census website.

National Records of Scotland also expects to gain a large body of evidence from the conduct of the Rehearsal, and the impact assessments will seek to consider and document how those learnings will influence programme plans, and assess anticipated impacts accordingly.

The impacts have been directly assessed in the EQIA record document. In summary the main impacts anticipated are: -

  • The move to predominantly online
  • The inclusion of new voluntary questions on sexual orientation and transgender status or history
  • The facility to request and receive an individual questionnaire is available for anyone aged 16 years and above, who is capable of completing
  • Any household or individual returns can only be provided by those aged 16 or over
  • NRS is proposing to limit the asking of questions to certain age groups only.

A range of recommendations and conclusions will be shaped over the course of the coming months and will be published in due course.


17 December 2019


Paul Lowe


Registrar General



Back to top