Foreword by Scotland's Chief Statistician and Scotland's Registrar General
Scotland's New Official Ethnicity Classification
Since the last census in 2001, Scotland has become a more ethnically-diverse country. So it is vital that the next census (in 2011), and other Scottish surveys, provide good information about Scotland's ethnic communities. That will help ensure that public services are geared to everyone's needs and detect any discrimination.
To do that effectively, we need to ask the right question in the census and other surveys. This report describes the work we have done to improve on the question which has been used since the 2001 Census. We have consulted a lot of people and held useful discussions, as well as testing a wide range of possible questions. That has underlined how difficult it is to find a question which people can understand and answer easily - but which also allows people to record their ethnicity in the way which best suits them. There is, sadly, no perfect question!
This report gives the conclusions of our work, including a description of the new question which we will be used in Scottish Official Statistics and, if the Scottish Parliament agrees, in the next census. It explains fully the evidence on which our conclusions are based.
We would like to thank everybody who has helped us to develop a modernised classification that will meet Scotland's needs, reflect our changing population and provide the information we need to provide good public services and eliminate discrimination in Scotland.
We hope that you will take time to read this report and that we can work with you to ensure that the new classification is adopted across Scotland and to help us prepare for a successful census in 2011.