Population statistics

SCLD used to publish statistic about adults with learning disabilities who are known to local authorities in Scotland.  Statistics are numbers that tell us more about something we are interested in. These statistics are called Learning Disability Statistics Scotland or LDSS for short. LDSS has been granted National Statistics designation.

All local authorities in Scotland collect information on the numbers of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in their area. A report about the number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in Scotland used to be published every year.

2024 update

Due to issues with returns, data protection and prioritisation during the pandemic, LDSS has not been published since 2019. However, the Scottish Government is currently undertaking a review of LDSS and what is needed to restart data collection and publication. More background on some of this work is provided below.

2021 suspension of National Statistics Designation

SCLD recognises that with the changing policy context, data users, data suppliers and other stakeholders want to ensure that the data provided in the Learning Disability Statistics Scotland (LDSS) publication continues to meet their needs and look at relevant outcomes.  

To this end, SCLD and Public Health Scotland (formerly Information Services Division (ISD)) have worked together over the past three years to merge LDSS into the Source Social Care data collection. 

The new arrangements are intended to provide richer and more useful statistics and insights into the learning disability population in Scotland .They would facilitate linkage to health and social care data to enhance understanding of the social determinants of health for people with learning disabilities. They are intended to simplify the data collation effort at a local level. Due to the transfer of responsibility to PHS, they have however required a change to the national submission process previously used. This change in process has necessitated new Data Sharing Agreements be drawn up and put in place. This has not gone as smoothly as hoped and SCLD has made the decision, supported by the Office For Statistics Regulation, to temporarily suspend the National Statistics badging for the 2021 collection.

You can out more by reading the correspondence between SCLD and the Office For Statistics Regulation:

For more information please contact Ruth Callander on Ruth.C@scld.co.uk or by calling 0141 248 3733 

Previous reports

You can access previous LDSS releases and other information of relevance by clicking the links below:

2019 Report

2018 Report

Codes of Practice

Data is available from 2008 onwards. For copies of these reports, please contact Ruth Callander by email at Ruth.C@scld.co.uk or via phone on 0141 248 3733.