Population & Households

A variety of statistical tables are available on this topic and these can be accessed via the Census Data Explorer.

Information on Population is derived from questions relating to sex (Q2), date of birth (Q3), marital status (Q4), student/schoolchild status (Q5), term-time address (Q6) and address on year ago (Q10) on the 2011 Census questionnaire. Information on Households is derived from questions about usual residents and visitors in a household (H1 to H5) and the relationships of household members to each other (H13).

Some interesting points about Population & Households in Scotland from the 2011 Census are provided below:

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.


For the first time ever there were more over-65’s than under 15s. Children aged under 15 accounted for 16% of the population whereas those aged 65 and over accounted for 17%. The number of people aged 65 and over had increased by 85,000 (11%) 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.

Living alone

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