Scotland’s 1921 census release delayed

ScotlandsPeople has announced that the release of the 1921 census for Scotland will not now happen until late 2022

1921 Scotland golf championship

ScotlandsPeople has announced via Twitter that there will be a considerable delay in the release of the 1921 Scotland census.


Scotland originally planned to have its 1921 census released in the summer of 2021 – before the one for England and Wales, which is being released via Findmypast in early 2022. Later it was hoped that the 1921 Scotland census would come out towards the end of 2021 but yesterday’s announcement via Twitter has suggested a much greater delay. The message read:

“We know everyone is keen to get an update on progress around the release of the 1921 Scottish Census. We are working hard on this and will be releasing the images on and in the ScotlandsPeople Centre in the latter half of 2022.”

Although the pandemic was not cited as a reason it is known that lockdown has caused complications for Findmypast who are digitising the England and Wales 1921 census.

Scottish genealogist Chris Paton told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, “It is unfortunate that the census release has been delayed, although quite understandable in the circumstances, with the ongoing pandemic continuing to seriously disrupt the service provision of the National Records of Scotland. All good things come to those who wait, however, and I look forward to seeing the records when they become available next year.”

A ScotlandsPeople spokesperson said: “Publication of the census is a very complex process – it involves transcribing, indexing and quality assuring over four million individual named records held on over 200,000 images. Our priority is the publication of the images as soon as we can in a professional and cost effective manner.

“In the meantime, we will continue to add new Kirk Session images to ScotlandsPeople, building on the recent successful launch of over 1 million images to this record set. We will also continue to add to our historic maps and plans online collection with the addition of thousands of new images planned for this year, and we will publish the latest Birth, Death and Marriages release in January 2022.

“Alongside these ongoing releases and preparation of the 1921 Census, we intend to add several new records sets in the next 12 months and we have today announced publication of court records from the trials following the Radical Rising of 1820 on ScotlandsPeople.”


Sarah Williams is the editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine