3.The primary legislation that provides for the taking of a census in Scotland is the Census Act 1920 (“the 1920 Act”). Under the provisions of section 1(1) of this Act an Order in Council may prescribe:
the date on which the census is to be taken;
the persons by whom and with respect to whom the census returns are to be made; and
the particulars to be stated in the returns.
4.The Schedule to the 1920 Act authorises the inclusion of the following topics in respect of which particulars may be required:
names, sex, age;
occupation, profession, trade or employment;
nationality, birthplace, race, language;
place of abode and character of dwelling; and
condition as to marriage, relation to head of family, issue born in marriage.
5.The inclusion in a census of questions on other topics which are:
Any other matters with respect to which it is desirable to obtain statistical information with a view to ascertaining the social or civil condition of the population,
is also permitted under a further paragraph of the Schedule to the 1920 Act.