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The 1911 Census in Scotland

Latest News - Scotlands People released the 1911 Scottish Census to the public on Tuesday 5th April 2011.

For everyone who's been asking when can I view the 1911 Census for Scotland, when I can see the details of my Scots ancestors, how long do I have to wait for the Scottish census, the wait is over !

To access the Scotlands People site, follow this link to Findmypast and then click on the link to ScotlandsPeople at the very bottom of the page.

The 1911 Scotland census was taken on the same date as for England & Wales, the night of Sunday 2nd April. The returns gave a population of 4,759,445, that is 2,307,603 males and 2,451,842 females, an increase of 287,342 over 1901.

Accessing the 1911 Scottish Census .... when will the 1911 census for Scotland be released?

The position in Scotland regarding access to the Scotland 1911 Census differs from that in England and Wales. The Census in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Administration and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 exempts personal Census records from disclosure until after a 100 year closure period.

So, while 1911 Census information for England and Wales was made available at the start of January 2009, the Registrar General for Scotland only released the Scottish 1911 Census information just after the date of the 2011 Census (27 March 2011), by which time "the 100 year closure period had ended".

The Registrar General for Scotland believed that "this strikes a balance between the interest of the records to family historians and the privacy of the people recorded by the Census, some of whom will still be alive. People who completed the 1911 Census were promised confidentiality. Although that is a long time ago, it is important not to call into question the validity of the equivalent promise on modern Census forms. That could deter people from filling in the Census form, reducing the response rate and making the Census results (which are so important for many aspects of Scottish life) less accurate".

Howver the wait is over and the census was released on 5th April 2011 via the scotlandspeople website.
Payment is by pay-per-view credits - there is no plan to introduce subscriptions. The cost is 1 credit to view the index and 5 credits to view the actual page from the enumerator's book. If you live in Scotland, you can obtain credits at a reduced price from your local library. There is a little publicised Scotlands People Voucher Scheme which allows public libraries to sell discounted vouchers directly to the public for non-commercial use. You have to visit the library in person.

It is also available in the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh. Unfortunately the current daily rate of 10 went up to 15 at the start of April although they do offer a one hour free taster session, first come, first served at certain times of the day.

Note also that, unlike in England and Wales, the individual household schedules for the Scottish 1911 census have been destroyed so it is not be possible to view these. Instead the enumeration books have been digitised, similar to that for the 1901 census, except that the entries for each person go across a double page. This includes the 'fertility' questions for married women, that is years married, number of children and how many were still alive.

Unlike previous censuses, there is no plan to make the actual enumerators' books available to the public at New Register House in Edinburgh.

We always welcome any comments, suggestions or corrections - you can contact us at the feedback email address on the left