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Annual Membership Census

Every year, The Scouts has a national census of it's membership. The census collects data about every Section, Group, District, County, Area and Region within the UK.

Why do we have a census?
The Scouts has an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make-up the membership. Asking for equality data- gender, ethnicity and disability, about the Members in local Scout Groups is vital to ensuring the Scouts has a clear picture of who is a member.

Knowing who our members are, helps the Scouts, at all levels to better inform the support and services provided to meet the needs of our Members. All equality data providing with the national census is anonymous.
The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee.

Scouting is open to all. So, it is essential that as a Movement we continue to reflect on the make-up of our membership to ensure we are doing all that we can to ensure Scouting is welcoming and accessible to all. This data helps to inform the guidance, training and support offered to local Scouting. Having clear equality data also enables us to recognise and celebrate successes.

Locally, census data can be used to inform growth and development plans; identifying groups which may be currently under-represented within Scouting and looking for ways to reach out and engage new members.

Data on the gender of our Members ensures that the Scouts can reflect on progress to ensuring both girls and boys are equally represented within all levels of Scouting. Scouting became fully co-educational in 2007.


Mapping the ethnicity of our Members enables the Scouts to understand how reflective we are of the communities in which we are present, and identify if there are groups which are currently under-represented within the membership. This helps us to grow and develop Scouting locally as we work towards Skills for Life - Our plan to deliver better futures.

Information about ethnicity is anonymous. If any individual, adult or youth member, is uncomfortable about providing this information, there is always the option to select ‘prefer not to say’.  

The ethnicity categories within our census reflects the full set of classifications from the UK national census. More information about the national census is available here.


Understanding the disabilities and additional needs of our members helps us to constantly look for ways to improve access to Scouting, and provide the support and guidance needed to support the full participation of all young people.

This information enables the Scouts to identify the key external bodies and agencies we need to work with in order to ensure that we are following the best practice guidelines with respect to our provisions for people with visible and hidden disabilities.

Information about disability is anonymous.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW