National Records of Scotland

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2001 Census Ethnicity Reports - Report on Coding of Other Ethnic Group

2001 Census Ethnicity Reports - Report on Coding of Other Ethnic Group

2. Pre-determined Detailed Codes

Although Census output on ethnicity has generally been presented using one of the two standard classifications – one with 14 categories already mentioned and a simple one with 5 – each person’s ethnicity was coded to a detailed 3 digit code. Details of this coding, which was decided before any data was captured, are given in
Appendix B

The 3 digits of the code comprise:

  • a single digit for the Section (or Sections) used in answering the question – referred to in this paper as the ‘Section prefix’; and

  • a two-digit code aimed at yielding the range of detail in which information on ethnicity was expected.

The output category of ‘Other ethnic group’ was made up of some 70 or so detailed codes. The number in the category given each of these codes is shown in the first column of figures in Appendix C. The number broken down by Section prefix is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Persons of 'Other ethnic group' by Section prefix

Section prefix

In output database



Section A White


Section B Mixed


Section C Asian


Section D Black


Section E Other


Ticks or text in more than one section


Ticks in more than one section but no text


Text in more than one section but no ticks


As stated above, contrary to the practice for most output categories of ethnicity, ‘Other ethnic group’ did not correspond to a single tick box on the form. The main reason for this non-correspondence was the treatment of Asian groups with a background not in the Indian sub-continent. The obvious place for these on the form was in Section C ‘Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British’ on the form. In output they are included in ‘Other ethnic group’. Asian groups with a background in the Indian sub-continent were placed in ‘Other South Asian’.