Census data shapes many of the services we all rely on so it’s vital to take part - Paul Lowe
I am hugely grateful to the hundreds of thousands of householders across the nation who have already stepped forward and added their voice to this important national dialogue. However I know many are still to complete their return and with Census Day on 20th March I want to set out why the census is still vital in 21st Century Scotland and why we need your participation.
Scotland’s Census provides the Government and other key decision makers with important information about the population, so that they can decide where best to invest billions of pounds of public money. For example, population growth in your area might reveal that a new school is required, or perhaps results for your community show that more support is needed for people whose language skills in English make it harder to access services.
The census offers a unique national and local snapshot of Scotland’s population at a point in time. It’s not an abstract piece of research, census data shapes many of the services we rely on in our daily lives. But it is only effective in doing so if it properly reflects the size and needs of our society.
For example, census data previously benefitted the community in Loanhead, Midlothian, where they gained a new centre to support continued regeneration. The £15.6 million centre brought together Paradykes Primary School, Loanhead Library, Loanhead Medical Practice, community and leisure facilities, and an early learning and childcare facility. Having all these facilities together has broken down barriers to use and provides a more integrated approach to those accessing these services.
In Edinburgh, charity Dads Rock made use of census information to help them reach groups of dads to raise awareness of the charity and to better interact with those where language was a barrier to participation.
Planning for the £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing, used census data to decide on the need for the bridge, it’s location and size. Planners consulted census data about the type of vehicles households own, travel patterns and population information.
Completing the census is one of the most important things you can do for your local community, as well as a civic responsibility it is also a legal responsibility.
We are here to help and support you with more information via our website or our Freephone number 08000308308.
Thank you for taking part in Scotland’s Census 2022.
Paul Lowe is Registrar General and Chief Executive of the National Records of Scotland
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.