The Scouts carry out an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make up our membership. Knowing who our members are helps to better inform and deliver the support and services provided to meet the needs of our members.

The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee for youth members and associated levies at various levels of the movement.


Regular questions that pop up about the census systems, and why Scouts ask some of the questions that Scouts do. Read FAQs


Key dates

  • January: passwords are sent out to members.
  • Friday 14 January: census site opens.
  • Monday 31 January: official census date.
  • Sunday 20 February: census site closes; all data must have been submitted and approved at all levels up to Region.

Getting more help

Scouts is writing a guide for each of the main census return types which will be available in early January, and have updated our FAQs, but if you need more help, please get in touch with Scout Information Centre by by email on, or you can use Live Chat on the main Scouts website.

Getting started

If you have never done the census before or want to prepare for it we suggest you look through the return guides below (Available in early January) first. You can also access Scouts FAQshelp for approvers, and more.

OSM Integration

Users of OSM Gold have access to the ‘Census Aggregator’ tool which makes life easier by providing a summary of your census return that you can copy across into the census form. For those groups who use OSM Gold, and have opted into the OSM data sharing partnership, from January 2021, a button will be available in OSM to submit your aggregated youth data for the Census. This means that you won’t need to enter the data twice, saving you valuable time. Of course, please double check your data on the Census platform at the same time as you are completing the rest of the Section return.