Scotland’s census credibility impaired by low participation

Just as all Scottish municipalities are failing to meet their goals in a 10-year census, raising concerns about government opposition that poor areas may lose service and promoting independence. It can undermine the record of the capabilities of a delegated government.

After a process delayed by one year by Covid-19 and then extended by one month until the end of May, there was no one of the 32 municipal areas comparable to the average 94% achieved in 2011. Of success.

England and Wales, which conducted the survey in March 2021, achieved a participation rate of 97%, and the first data was released on Tuesday. In contrast, the first results from the Scottish count will be published in early 2023.

The highest rate of return in Scotland was the Isle of Lewis, Nah-Eileanan Siar, with a participation rate of 93.9%, while Glasgow was at the bottom with 83.2%. The national average fell to 89%, compared to 94% in 2011, when the Scottish survey was conducted simultaneously with other parts of the UK.

Scotland’s delay may have been one of the factors behind the decline in participation as it lost momentum elsewhere. In late May, nearly a quarter of people under the age of 40 were unaware that a census was taking place, according to a survey by the National Records of Scotland, which conducts the census.

Accurate census data is important because it is used by policy makers to determine how to allocate spending on services. The result is also a setback for the SNP government, which wants to exclude Scotland from Britain, arguing that separation will bring about a more equitable and equitable society.

Critics say that the areas that are most needed are the areas that are most likely to be lost due to the lowest participation rates.

“It was a catastrophe,” said Donald Cameron, a conservative spokesman for constitutional issues. “It makes it difficult to use the census properly. You need this information when planning public services.”

The Labor Party’s constitutional spokesman, Sarah Boyack, said the SNP government risks the disappearance of people whose “default digital” approach lacks Internet coverage and access to devices such as PCs and tablets. Said he did not expect.

She said she visited a building in a low-income area of ​​Edinburgh with census staff and had a turnout of about 57 percent. She said the delegated government chose “Scottish exceptionalism” instead of learning from best practices elsewhere. She said officials should be held accountable.

Angus Robertson, a government secretary of constitution, diplomacy and culture, declined to comment.

Philip White, Scottish director of the Institute for Public Policy, a left-wing think tank, said it wasn’t until the extension period that the government encouraged staffing on-site to visit people’s homes. “It should have been part of the process from the beginning,” he said. “We need to make sure that people in these communities aren’t adversely affected … That would be a real double pain.”

The National Records Scotland said the census was by no means just digital, although the overwhelming majority chose to answer online. The organization issued over 600,000 paper forms, and the processing center processed over 750,000 calls and over 60,000 emails.

The one-month extension, which is said to be common in similar exercises from the United States to Poland, focused on the regions with the lowest rates of return and pushed up the overall number by almost 10 percentage points.

“We are confident that we can provide high quality census output based on census results, coverage surveys, management data and statistical methods,” the agency said.

Scotland’s census credibility impaired by low participation

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