Previous Censuses

The last census was held in 2011. Using the links below you can find more information on the history of the census, about the 2001 census, and changes for the census in 2011.

General census facts and figures

  • Census details from 1841-1911 have been transcribed and indexed and are available online.
  • A census of population in Scotland has been held every 10 years since 1801 (except 1941 during the war).
  • Parish schoolmasters carried out the census until 1831.
  • The first official census recorded Scotland’s population at 1.6 million in 1801. It doubled to around 3 million by 1861 – and by 2011 it was over 5.3 million.
  • The 2011 Census marks the 150th anniversary since the National Records of Scotland, formerly the General Register Office for Scotland, took responsibility for organising Scotland’s census in 1861.

If you're interested in accessing historical census data, you can see what is available on the Other Census Sources page.

Further details about previous censuses can be found on the official Scottish genealogy resource Scotland'sPeople.