Mnemonic: national_identity_all
Applicability: Person
Type: Derived variable


Someone’s national identity is a self-determined assessment of their own identity, it could be the country or countries where they feel they belong or think of as home. It is not dependent on ethnic group or citizenship.

Respondents could select more than one national identity.


Total number of categories: 17

Code Name
1 British only identity
2 English only identity
3 English and British only identity
4 Welsh only identity
5 Welsh and British only identity
6 Scottish only identity
7 Scottish and British only identity
8 Northern Irish only identity
9 Northern Irish and British only identity
10 Cornish only identity
11 Cornish and British only identity
12 Any other combination of only UK identities
13 Irish only identity
14 Irish and at least one UK identity
15 Other identity only
16 Other identity and at least one UK identity
-8 Does not apply*

*Students and schoolchildren living away during term-time.

View all national identity classifications.

Quality information

The increase since the 2011 Census in people identifying as “British” and fall in people identifying as “English” may partly reflect true changes in self-perception. It is also likely to reflect that “British” replaced “English” as the first response option listed on the questionnaire in England.

Read more in our Ethnic group, national identity, language and religion quality information for Census 2021 methodology.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Broadly comparable

This derived variable can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census, but there are some quality issues in the data.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Not comparable

The national identities included in the variable for England and Wales differ from those included in variables produced by Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

You can:

Alternatively, you can also create a custom dataset.

Other datasets that use this variable