Sir, – In 2011 the census return rate was 94%, a very good return in anyone’s book. The census was uncontroversial and although some people may have wondered what the point was, they got on and completed it. In spite of the adverts on telly and the radio, repeated several times a day, with a deadline of May 1, only 74% of households have completed the form. There will no doubt be many reasons for this, among them the fact that this was to be an online response, with paper copies being the exception. How many people tried to call the helpline to order a paper copy? How many people gave up trying to get through? Among those who got to the stage of completing it, how many decided not to complete it due to the questions themselves? Censuses have a role in society to help identify what services are required and to help shape policies. This should relate to housing, schools and infrastructure. Questions on gender identification may well have put many people off completing the census – all because of the SNP’s decision to include questions on this issue. Alienating approximately 20% of households when comparing this year’s return with 2011’s serves no one. Jane Lax, Craigellachie, Aberlour.