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Area Profiles

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Highest ever population

The population of Scotland on census day in 2011 was estimated to be 5,295,403 - the highest ever and a 4.6 per cent rise since 2001.

More women than men

There were more women (2,728,000 or 51.5 per cent) than men (2,567,400 or 48.5 per cent) in Scotland. This was the case for all council areas except for Shetland Islands.

Marital Status

The proportion of adults (people aged 16 and over) in Scotland who are married is 45 per cent, a five percentage point decrease since 2001. The proportion of adults who are single (never married or never registered a same-sex civil partnership) rose to 35 per cent in 2011, an increase of 5 percentage points from 2001.

Civil partnerships

There were 7,000 people (0.2 per cent of adults) who reported that they were in registered same-sex civil partnerships.

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Scottish Identity

Eighty-three per cent of the population of Scotland felt they had some Scottish national identity, including 62 per cent who felt Scottish only.  18 per cent felt Scottish and British.  2 per cent felt Scottish plus another identity.

Minority Groups

Council areas with large cities had the highest proportion of their population from a minority ethnic group: 12 per cent in Glasgow City, 8 per cent in City of Edinburgh and Aberdeen City and 6 per cent in Dundee City.

Country of birth

Out of the seven per cent (369,000) people in Scotland who were born outside of the UK, 15 per cent (55,000) were born in Poland, 6.4 per cent (23,000) in India and 6.2 (23,000) per cent in the Republic of Ireland.

Year of arrival

55 per cent of those born outside of the UK arrived in the UK between 2004 and 2011.

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Good Health

The majority of the population (82 per cent) stated their health was good or very good. This ranged across the country from 77 per cent in Glasgow City to 87 per cent in Aberdeenshire.

Activity Limiting

The proportion of people in Scotland with a long-term activity-limiting health problem or disability was 20 per cent, the same as in 2001.

Unpaid Care

500,000 people (9 per cent) provided unpaid care for someone because of long term physical/mental ill-health or disability or problems related to old age. Little change since 2001.

Hours of unpaid care

However, 44 per cent (219,000) of these unpaid care givers provided 20 or more hours a week of care a week, a 7 per cent increase since 2001.

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Living alone

One person households are now the most common household type - accounting for 35 per cent of all households.


Since 2001, the proportion of households who own their accommodation has stayed fairly constant at around 62 per cent, though more now own their property outright.


The proportion of households renting their accommodation from a council or housing association has fallen by 12 per cent. The percentage of households living in the private rented sector has increased by 65 per cent.

Cars and vans

Sixty-nine per cent of households in Scotland had at least one car or van available for use in 2011 compared with 66 per cent in 2001.   Aberdeenshire had the highest (86 per cent) proportion of households with at least one car or van available whilst Glasgow City had the lowest (49 per cent).

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Highest level of qualifications

Just over quarter (26 per cent, 1.1 million) of the population in Scotland aged 16 and over had achieved Census Level 4 or above qualifications, such as a university degree.

Regional differences - highest level of qualifications

City of Edinburgh had the highest proportion of population (41 per cent) with a Census Level 4 or above qualification.  West Dunbartonshire (17 per cent) had the lowest.

No qualifications

Just over a quarter (27 per cent, 1.2 million) of the population aged 16 and over held no qualifications.

Regional differences - no qualifications

City of Edinburgh had the lowest proportion of population (17 per cent) with no qualifications.  East Ayrshire (34 per cent) had the highest.

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Economic Activity

Of the 4.0 million people in Scotland aged between 16 and 74, 69 per cent (2.7 million) were economically active (either working or looking for work). The proportions of economically active males and females were 74 per cent and 64 per cent respectively.

Hours worked

In 2011, just over half (51 per cent) of the 2.5 million employed people aged 16 to 74 in Scotland worked 38 hours or more in a typical week in their main job; 39 per cent (984,000) worked between 38 and 48 hours and 12 per cent (295,000) worked 49 hours or more.


'Health and social work' and 'Retail activities' were the two largest industry sectors in 2011 in terms of the number of employed people aged 16 to 74, each accounting for 15 per cent (377,000) of this population.


The largest category of occupation was 'Professional occupations', employing 17 per cent of all employed people aged 16 to 74.

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Increasing Population

The population of Scotland on census day in 2001 was estimated to be 5,062,000.

More women than men

There were more women (52%) than men (48%) in Scotland. The number of males per female under 25 was 1.04 compared to 0.88 for people 25 or over.

Marital Status

The proportion of adults (people aged 16 and over) in Scotland who were married in 2001 is 50%, a decrease of 8 percentage points compared to the 1991 census.


The median age of males in the 2001 census was 37 years old. This is compared to 39 years old for females.

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Country of Birth

1 in 8 of Scottish residents in 2001 were born outside Scotland.


72% of people aged 3 and over in Eilean Siar (Western Isles) had some knowledge of Gaelic.


2.0% of the Scottish population in 2001 came from a non-white ethnic group, compared with 1.3% in 1991.

Born in England

Argyll & Bute had the highest proportion of people born in England (17%).

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Good Health

The average age of a person with good health was 33 years.

Activity Limiting

There was an increase in recorded limiting long-term illness in the 2001 census (20% compared with 14% in 1991).


The proportion of households with one or more carers resident was 17%.

Age of Carers

Of the 481,600 carers in Scotland, 2.3% were aged under 16, while 19.5% were above pensionable age.

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The average number of rooms per household was 4.8.

Living Alone

Women aged 16-74 are 1.07 times more likely to live in a one person household than men aged 16-74.


846,000 homes in Scotland (39%) were owned with a mortgage or loan.

Regional Differences

Only 3% of houses in Glasgow City were detached, compared to 61% in Orkney.

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Dundee City had the highest proportion of full-time students aged 16-74 in Scotland at 13%.

No Qualifications

A third (33.2%) of all people aged 16-74 in Scotland had no qualifications.

Highest Qualification

Just under a fifth (19.5%) of the population in Scotland aged 16-74 had achieved Census Level 4 or above qualifications, such as a university degree.

Regional Differences

City of Edinburgh had the highest (32.5%) proportion of population aged 16-74 with a Census Level 4 or above qualification. West Dunbartonshire had the lowest (12.0%).

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Average age of person who was unemployed was 35 years.

Hours Worked

Average hours worked in Scotland were 43 for males and 32 for females.


21% of women worked in Health & Social Work compared with 4% of men, while 13% of men worked in Construction compared with 1.5% of women.

Travel to Work

Nearly two thirds (64%) of people aged 16-74 in employment travelled to work by car, while 6% worked mainly from home.