Census Data (microdata, nominative or anonymised) from Scotland & rest of the UK, all years

This page provides a brief guide to finding the sources of Census microdata, i.e. individual records, for the constituent parts of the UK. Nominative census microdata, i.e. which include identifying information relating to individuals (such as names), are not available for censuses which took place less than 100 years ago, for reasons of confidentiality.

There is no single UK Population Census. The Census is carried out by different bodies in different parts of the UK, and there are therefore different sources for finding these data; the Scottish Census is conducted by the National Records of Scotland, the Census for England and Wales by the Office of National Statistics, and the Northern Ireland Census by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Sources of Census microdata in reverse chronological order:

  • Information about the preparations for the 2021 Census can be found at the National Records of Scotland website.
  • For longitudinal Scottish census data from 1991 onwards, see the Scottish Longitudinal Study.
  • Microdata in the form of Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs) from censuses taken from 1991 to 2011 are available (and 1971 and 1981 soon will be too) from the UK Data Service Census Support.
  • No census was taken in the UK in 1941 because of the Second World War.
  • The 1931 Census of England and Wales was lost in a fire in 1942. 
  • Nominative census microdata for Scotland's censuses of 1851 - 1901 (and for the rest of the UK for 1851 - 1911) are available as the datasets of the Integrated Census Microdata from the UK Data Archive (see access conditions below). Whereas anonymised microdata may be downloaded from the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) website.
  • The Scotland's People website provides paid-for access to census records from 1841 to 1911.

N.B. for spatial / boundary data see the National Statistics Postcode Directory.
See also: Census Data (Aggregate Statistics) from Scotland & rest of the UK.

Spatial Coverage: 
United Kingdom
Time Period: 

1801 to 2011

Data Access: 

Nominative census microdata for Scotland's censuses of 1851 - 1901 (and for the rest of the UK for 1851 - 1911) have been produced as Integrated Census Microdata (the I-CeM project); academic users may apply for permission to access these on the computers of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex. Anonymised microdata from these same datasets may be downloaded from the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) website.