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Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2000


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.

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