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National identity

The 2011 census asked people what country or countries they felt an affiliation to.

National identity is not tied to ethnicity or country of birth. A foreign citizen living in Scotland is free to choose 'Scottish' as their national identity.

Scottish identity

83% of people said they had some Scottish national identity.

That's 4.4 million people.

Scottish national identity was most common in:

  • North Lanarkshire
  • Inverclyde
  • East Ayrshire
  • West Dunbartonshire

90% of people in each of these areas said they had some Scottish national identity.

70% of City of Edinburgh residents claimed some Scottish national identity. This was the lowest in Scotland.

Scottish identity only

62% of Scotland's population said they were ‘Scottish only’.

3.3 million people had Scottish identity only. This was most common in 10 to 14 year olds, at 71%.

It was least common among 30 to 34 year olds, at 57%.

18% of the population said their national identity was ‘Scottish and British identities only’.

Ethnic groups

28% of people in minority ethnic groups said they had some Scottish identity.

This could be either Scottish only, or in combination with another identity.

60% of people from a mixed ethnic background had some Scottish identity, along with 50% of people from the Pakistani ethnic group.

Scottish identity was least common in African ethnic groups, at 21%.

British identities

8% of the population said they had ‘British identity only’.

443,000 people said they were British only. This was most common in the 50 to 64 age group, at 10%.

2% of the population had 'English identity only'.

No UK identity

4% of people said they had no UK identity.

234,000 people said they had 'other identity only'. This was most common among young adults aged 20 to 34.

Explore Scotland's Census

There's more to discover about the many different national identities of Scotland's population. The data from Scotland's Census is easy to use and free for everyone.

Area overviews

View and compare simple census results for postcodes, towns, council areas, or all of Scotland.

Search the data

Get detailed data tables for a wide range of topics and geographies with our data searching tool.

Analytical reports

Read detailed reports that make use of census data to explore various topics.