Sunday 20th March is Scotland’s Census Day and for the first time in its 180-year history, a question on military service will be included.

This comes after a five-year long campaign by Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion and it will transform the way in which services for the Armed Forces community are shaped and delivered in the years ahead. We are calling on all veterans to complete the Census and, in particular, tick “yes” to the veterans question.


5 reasons to complete the census


  1. It’s a legal requirement! Ok, that seems pretty obvious but it is in everyone’s interest to complete the Census as so many of the things we rely on every day are shaped by the data that comes from this only once every ten years.
  2. Ensure Armed Forces Covenant compliance. By completing the veterans question we’ll all be able to hold national and local governments to account for upholding their commitments to the Armed Forces Covenant.
  3. Evidence for support. We will be able to identify areas where the Armed Forces community face disadvantage that are currently hidden from sight, and have the evidence to campaign for this to be addressed.
  4. Better services. Knowing how the Armed Forces community is spread geographically will allow for better targeting of services, whether statutory or by charities like Poppyscotland.
  5. It's confidential. Your personal information is completely secure. You cannot be identified in the statistics published from the Census and all personal information provided is protected by law.

The question veterans question itself is as follows:

Q: Have you previously served in the UK Armed Forces?

And here's how you should answer:

No: if you are currently serving

Yes: if you have previously served in Regular Armed Forcesor undertook National Service

Yes: if you have previously served in Reserve Armed Forces


It is really important that all veterans, even those who have served a single day in the Forces, tick yes.


For more information on the veterans' question and why it's important, visit or