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Census 2022 is just around the corner in Scotland, but unpaid carers risk missing out on vital government support if they aren’t counted. Discover how we can make 2022 the year we #CountCarersIn

By Virgin TV Edit

Conducted once every ten years in Scotland, Census 2022 allows everyone in the country an opportunity to have their voice heard. The data that’s collected will inform decisions on services that shape our communities, such as healthcare, education and transport, and helps ensure underserved and under-represented communities get the help they deserve.


With this year’s Census on Sunday 20 March 2022, we want to ensure that everyone in Scotland looking after someone else identifies as an unpaid carer when completing this form.


This is hugely important because the census provides a vital opportunity for the number of unpaid carers - that is anyone caring for someone with a physical or mental health condition or illness, or age-related problem - and their caring situations to be officially recognised and better understood.


The number of carers today are believed to be much higher than previous estimates suggest. Census findings are used widely by national and local governments and many others, so together, we can ensure organisations know the true number of carers to provide more and better support and services.


Thankfully, answering a specific question (question 12 in Scotland) on Census 2022 will ensure that the number of unpaid carers is recognised. Read on to find out how.


How to identify as an unpaid carer


  • When filling in the Census 2022, go to question 12 in Scotland. It will look like this:
  • The question asks: “Do you look after, or give help or support to, anyone because they have long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses, or problems related to old age?” This question only relates to unpaid care provided. When answering the question, you will be asked to exclude any care you do as part of paid employment

  • If this applies to you, say “Yes” and also note down how many hours of care you provide in the box



The National Records of Scotland (NRS) runs the Census in Scotland. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.


Census 2022 will be the first digital-first census in Scotland. You will receive information from the NRS about filling in the census, including how to order a paper questionnaire if you cannot complete it online.


If you have any questions about filling out the Census, you can find out more information here.


Let’s make 2022 the year we #CountCarersIn.


How to spot Census 2022 scams


Ahead of Census 2022, it is likely that scams pretending to be the census will increase. Some scams may involve letters, text messages and emails demanding payment of a fake £1000 fine. It is important to stay vigilant against these scammers, and we have some ways to spot Census 2022 scams.


A common scam is a message that claims information is missing from your census or that there are errors in your submission which need to be confirmed. These are fake requests from scammers.


Scams almost always ask you for either:


  • Payment of money for a fine or fee
  • Personal financial information, such as your national insurance number, bank details, or debit and
  • Credit card details


Remember, you will never be asked for money or personal financial information to complete Scotland’s Census 2022. So if you do receive something asking for these, you can be sure it is a scam.


If you receive anything suspicious that claims to be from the census, you should contact:



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