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Debates and questions

S5W-30997: Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 30 July 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it will mitigate any impact on service planning because of the decision to delay the census until 2022.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 13 August 2020

The priority and responsibility of National Records of Scotland (NRS) is to put in place a census that enables everyone across Scotland to participate, so that information collected can be used to produce the high quality outputs and deliver the benefits required by the people of Scotland.

Ensuring that all of Scotland can take part in the census is vital. Moving the date of the census to March 2022 provides the best opportunity to do that and ensure a high response rate. A high response rate will mean that the data gathered is of the quality necessary to enable it to be confidently used to inform funding decisions, policy and planning at all levels.

There are existing measures to meet the needs of data users between censuses. NRS will work closely with the Office of National Statistics and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency to minimise the impact on UK data coherence to ensure that high quality data is available to inform policy, investment decisions and the planning of services that affect Scotland and the rest of the UK. NRS will also continue to work with stakeholders and partners to support the needs of data users for the period until the results from Scotland’s Census are available.