CENSUS DEVELOPMENTS
IN SCOTLAND
Kirsty MacLean
General Register Office for Scotland (GROS)
2007 BSPS Conference, St. Andrews
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
AIM
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•
The best Census ever ….
High quality population statistics
Geared to user needs
Accurate for small areas and small
population groups
• Comparable with 2001 and rest of UK
• … in more challenging circumstances
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
CONSULTATION PROGRAMME
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•
•
•
•
First consultation in Autumn 2004
Second consultation ended 7 June
Formal proposal to Parliament Autumn 2008
Rehearsal Spring 2009
Census Order and Census Regulations to
Parliament early 2010
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Current working assumptions
• Hoping for 4 pages of individual
questions – but only possible if funding
secured
• 2-column layout
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household Questions
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household Questions
• Working assumption of one page
• Less pressure for space than individual
questions
• User requirements for housing questions
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household questions - Likely to be included
• Accommodation type
• Household tenure
• Type of landlord
• Central Heating
• Self-contained accommodation
• Number of rooms
• Number of vehicles
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household questions – Under consideration
• State of repairs
• Household income
• Telephone number
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Income
• Majority in favour of a question on income
• A few commented against
• Preference for personal income question, but
household sufficient if space constraints
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household questions – Not likely to be
included
Topics from 2001
• Access to bath/shower and toilet
• Lowest floor level
• Furnished/Unfurnished
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Household questions – Not likely to be
included
New Topics
• Registered Croft
• Internet access
– Rapidly changing
– Decrease in utility of outputs
• Garden access
•
Pet ownership
•
Eat meals together
•
Renewable energy sources
– User need not high enough to justify inclusion
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Housing Quality
• General support for new format Central
Heating question
• Some support for information on State of
Repairs
• Limited support for energy efficiency question
• Very limited support for crofting question
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Possible questionnaire content
- Individual questions
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Factors considered
• Support main objectives of Census
– Maximise overall response rates and minimise
differences across areas / population groups
• Meet strongest user requirements
– Government resource allocation / Policy development
• Continuity with existing Census information
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
Basic demographics
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–
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–
Name
Sex
Date of Birth
Marital/Civil Partnership status
Other basic information
– Student status
• Term-time address
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
Migration
– Country of birth
– Address one year ago
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Under consideration
Migration - New Topics
– Month and Year of arrival in
UK/Scotland
– Citizenship
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Migration
• Support for address one year ago and country of
birth
• Some support for month and year of entry
• Little support for citizenship question
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
Ethnicity, Identity, Language & Religion
– Ethnic group
– National identity
– Gaelic language question
– Religion
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Language
• Majority in favour of question collecting
information on languages
• English (and Gaelic) most requested
• Also requested Eastern European and minority
ethnic languages, BSL
• Polarised views on Scots language
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
Health and care
– Health status
– Long-term illness / disability
– Carer
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Health and Care
• Strong support for extended question on
limiting long term illness
• Strong support for carers question
• General support for 5 point scale used in general
health question
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
National Statistics Socio-Economic Class
(NS-SEC)
– Occupation
– Self-employed or employee
– Supervisor status
– Ever worked
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for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Likely to be included
Other labour market
– Economic activity – 5 questions
– Address of workplace
– Travel to work
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Under consideration
Labour market - topics from 2001
– Industry
– Hours worked
– Name of employer
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
NS-SEC & Labour market
• Majority opposed to collection of less detailed
data
• Strong support for retention of questions on
industry and hours worked
• Less support for question on size of workplace
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Under consideration
Topics from 2001
– Qualifications
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Qualifications
• Majority support and state clear requirement for
retention of question on qualifications
• Wide range of uses identified
General Register Office
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SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Under consideration
New Topics
– Second residences
Spring 2007 Consultation:
Second residences
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•
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Over half indicated interest in topic
Small proportion felt high priority
Responses split on whether data would be used
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Individual questions - Not likely to be
included
New topics
– Large number of new topics requested
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•
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Sexual Identity
Country of previous residence
Negative Discrimination
Children given birth to
How safe you feel in your area
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
The Next Steps
Further consideration will be given to topics for
inclusion over the coming months….
• Responses to recent consultation and other
evidence
• Input from Scottish Government
• Technical considerations
• Continued liaison with other UK Census offices
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Internet Completion
Current working assumption is to offer an
internet option for Households to complete
Census forms.
Current assumption is that all Households will
still receive a paper form. Internet only
supplementary.
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Internet Completion
Number of challenges still to be addressed:
• Security
• Authentication of households
• Enumeration strategy is traditional hand
delivery - how will Internet interact
• Over enumeration
• Processing becomes more complex
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Gaelic
In 2001 we provided a Gaelic leaflet but not a
Gaelic questionnaire.
Working with SE Gaelic Unit and Bòrd na
Gàidhlig to see how best to comply with
2005 Gaelic Language Act
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Gaelic
Range of possibilities
• Gaelic (or bilingual) questionnaire
• Leaflet with translation of questions to
Gaelic
• Gaelic language facility on Census Helpline
• Gaelic online completion
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Census Test Evaluation Research
Young Men and the Census
Research by TNS System 3 for GROS
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Background
• In the 2001 Census, around 200,000 people in
Scotland did not complete the Census form
• Lower levels of completion were evident among a
number of target groups, including young men,
aged 18-30
– West Dunbartonshire was identified as an area where
completion rates among this group were particularly
low
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Background
• Qualitative research was commissioned
– to explore attitudes towards the Census
– to identify factors influencing participation and nonparticipation
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Audience characteristics
Completers
Non Completers
Higher sense of
social responsibility
Self-interested;
alienated from society
Many feel they have nothing to
hide; therefore nothing
to lose in completing
the form
Deeply suspicious of
government:
‘out to get them’
Some
‘playing’ the benefits system;
defensive
Some evidence of
wariness towards the
government, however
Poorly educated, staunchly patriotic
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Awareness & understanding of the
Census
• Awareness of the Census is patchy
– understanding of its purpose limited (often non-existent)
– especially among non completers
• Better informed individuals tend to acknowledge its statistical
importance as a data gathering exercise…
– …but feel that nothing really happens as a result of doing it;
unsure as to why the government needs the information
– genealogy / historical records?
– taxes?
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Three main attitudinal groups: each
share a common thread…
UNINFORMED AND
CAN’T BE BOTHERED
What is
the Census
for?
UNINFORMED AND WORRIED
ABOUT REPERCUSSIONS
UNINFORMED, BUT
‘SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO’
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Lack of understanding of the Census is a
key issue…
WHAT’S
THE POINT?
NOTHING SEEMS TO
CHANGE AS A RESULT
NO OBVIOUS
PERSONAL OR
SOCIAL GAIN
THE GOVERNMENT
WANTS TO CATCH
ME OUT
THE GOVERNMENT
AREN’T INTERESTED
IN HELPING ME
ABOUT REDUCING
BENEFITS
OR INCREASING
TAXES
ABOUT ‘POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS’
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
FEEL IGNORED
Barriers to Census form completion
Two main issues
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING
LACK OF INCENTIVE
Not compulsory
Purpose of Census unclear:
a ‘pointless’ exercise?
No obvious personal benefit
or benefit to
the local community
Government mistrust:
Fear of repercussions
Have no particular desire to
‘help’ the government anyway
Intimidating, uninviting form:
looks like it might take a
long time to complete
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Encouraging Census form
completion
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING
LACK OF INCENTIVE
Ensure that individuals understand
the purpose of the Census
Appeal to Scottish pride
Reassure that the
Census is not designed to
catch them out
Emphasise the benefits
of the Census for them and their
community
Ensure that all communication
materials (including
the form) are written in simple,
clear terms
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for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Response to the Form
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information about Scotland's people
Combination
First impressions count…
of brown envelope
Can’t assume
everyone knows
what this is and
understands
its importance
and window
commonly identified
as either ‘Junk’
or ‘Trouble’
‘Dear Householder’
immediately
suggests
‘Unimportant’
Text uninspiring;
no reason
to open
the envelope or
take interest
in its
contents;
looks like hard
work
‘Who?’
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SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
The form:
Appearance
• The overall ‘look’ of the form is uninviting for
many; too ‘official’
• (For those who read it) the introductory paragraph
is not compelling
–
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
The form:
Content
• In some cases, terminology can be confusing
e.g. What is your marital or civil partnership status?
• Some questions give rise to suspicion
e.g. How many hours a week do you work?
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
General
• Advertising awareness for the Test Census was
very low
• As a result, the Census forms arrived with
practically no advance warning
• Most recipients were uninformed
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Conclusions &
Recommendations
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Conclusions & recommendations
• The most fundamental barriers to form completion
appear to be
– lack of understanding
– lack of trust
– lack of incentive
• The first two barriers are the most difficult to overcome:
– require education in something that most will not be
interested in learning about
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Conclusions & recommendations
• Those who feel they have something to hide will be a
difficult audience to persuade
• There is, nonetheless, value in attempting to educate on a
general level about the purpose behind the Census
BEFORE the form arrives
– even those who feel they have nothing to hide can still
be concerned about the consequences of completing
the form
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Conclusions & recommendations
• There is a need to:
– offer reassurance about the purpose of the Census
– emphasise the importance of the individual’s
contribution / tap into social conscience
– consider changing the appearance of the form to
something less ‘official’
General Register Office
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SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Conclusions & recommendations
• Emphasising the Scottish focus of the form in both
publicity and in the form pack may encourage noncompleters
• Perhaps need to emphasis that may not need to complete
the whole form?
• Branding should be more obvious on envelope & inside
pack
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
Thanks for listening
Questions?
General Register Office
for
SCOTLAND
information about Scotland's people
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Scotland’s Census 2011 Scotland Counts