Every ten years, households in Scotland must, by law, answer a series of questions for the national census.
The questionnaires, which are delivered in March, can be filled in and returned as soon as they arrive – provided your answers cover the people living or staying with you on the night of 27 March. The household questionnaire can normally be filled in online using the internet access code printed on the front page.
Those that don't fill in the form run the risk of a fine of up to £1,000.
Scotland's Census is run by the General Register Office for Scotland and personal information is kept confidential for 100 years. Registrar General, Duncan Macniven, heads up the operation.
Household questionnaires (view specimen questionnaire) are 28 pages long - four pages of questions per person, for up to five people, plus the household questions and guidance notes.
There are 13 questions about your household and up to 35 questions about each household member: questions about work, education, national identity, ethnic background, language, health and marital status.
- The 2011 Census marks the 150th year for which the Registrar General has been responsible for the count of Scotland’s population.
- This is the first time Registrar General Duncan Macniven has been responsible for running the census. He took up his post in 2003.
- Censuses have been held in Scotland every 10 years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 during the Second World War.
- 2.6 million census questionnaires and 5.2 million envelopes (one to deliver the questionnaire and one for the householder to return it) will be printed for the 2011 Census.
- The envelopes used to send out and return the questionnaires and all the census printed publicity is made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
- For the first time, householders will be able to fill in their census questionnaire in English or Gaelic online.
- There are five new questions in the 2011 Census. These are: long-term health conditions, national identity, month/year of arrival in the UK and two new questions on language. Questions that be dropped include furnished rented accommodation, bath/shower/toilet access or lowest floor level of living accommodation.
- The first set of headline statistics from the 2011 Census are expected to be published in the Summer of 2012 with the main set of detailed statistics set to be released by the Spring of 2013.
- Around 7,000 people will be employed by the General Register Office for Scotland, on a temporary basis, to help with the £65m census project.
- Personal information from the census is protected by law and kept confidential for 100 years by the Registrar General.