The Beyond 2011: Alternatives to the Census initiative was mentioned at our meeting in Largs yesterday. Essentially the Government has already signalled that it believes the traditional method for gathering the census has reached its natural end, citing the high costs for carrying out a decennial census. It is now looking for alternatives across the UK for the forthcoming exercise for 2021. A general page on this is for the situation across the UK is available on the NRS's GRO page at http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/beyond-2011/background/across-the-uk.html.
The ONS in England has cited eight possible examples of what might replace the current set up down south, which it has outlined at www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/what-we-do/programmes---projects/beyond-2011/what-are-the-options-/index.html. In summary:
Option 1: Full Census
Option 2: Short and Long Form Census
Option 3: Short Form Census plus continuous survey
Option 4: Rolling Census
Option 5: Address register plus survey
Administrative data options
Option 6: Administrative data - aggregate
Option 7: Administrative data - full linkage
Option 8: Administrative data - partial linkage
There's a Scottish event for genealogists to provide an input on the morning of November 8th 2012 at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh - full details at www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/beyond-2011/consultations-events/events.html. Applicants were asked to register by October 19th if they wished to attend, but God loves a trier - if you are interested in joining in, it might be worth trying to register late!