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Overview of Equality Results from the 2011 Census Release 2

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Analysis: National Identity

A question on national identity was asked in the census for the first time in 2011: 'what do you feel is your national identity?' This question preceded the ethnic group question on the questionnaire. Respondents could identify themselves on the Census questionnaire as having more than one national identity; for example, a person could record that they have both 'Scottish' and 'British' national identity.

Eighty-three per cent of the population of Scotland felt they had some 'Scottish' national identity. Sixty-two per cent of people felt 'Scottish' only, 18 per cent felt 'Scottish' and 'British' and two per cent felt they were 'Scottish' in combination with some other identity. Eight per cent of people felt they only had a 'British' national identity, 2 per cent felt 'English' only and 2 per cent felt they had some other combination of UK identities (excluding 'Scottish'). The remaining 4 per cent felt they did not have any UK national identity. Chart 1.18 shows national identity across Scotland.

Chart 1.18: National Identity in Scotland's largest cities, 2011

Chart 1.18: National Identity in Scotland's largest cities, 2011

Source: Census 2011, National Records of Scotland

The council areas with at least 90 per cent of the population stating some 'Scottish' national identity were North Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, East Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire. These were also the four council areas with the highest proportions of their population stating 'Scottish' as their only national identity.

The lowest proportions of people reporting some 'Scottish' national identity were in City of Edinburgh (70 per cent) and Aberdeen City (75 per cent). These were also the two council areas with the lowest proportions of the population stating 'Scottish' as their only national identity (49 and 55 per cent respectively).

Argyll & Bute and Shetland Islands had the highest proportions of the population stating 'British' as their only national identity, each with 12 per cent. Dumfries & Galloway, Orkney Islands, Moray and Scottish Borders had the highest proportions of the population stating 'English' as their only national identity, at 6 per cent.

Scottish Only National Identity

The majority (62 per cent) of people reported their national identity to be 'Scottish' only. It is worth noting that the tick option for 'Scottish' was the first in the list of national identity categories that individuals could choose from. This ordering effect may have influenced how the question was answered.

Around three quarters of people in West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire had a 'Scottish' only national identity, whereas in City of Edinburgh less than half of people did.

Other National Identity

Four per cent of people felt they did not have any UK national identity. Aberdeen City and the City of Edinburgh recorded the highest proportions of the population with no UK national identity, at 12 and 11 per cent respectively; conversely, East Ayrshire had the lowest proportion of people (less than 1 per cent) who felt they did not have any UK national identity.

Chart 1.19 is shaded according to the proportion of people in each council area whose national identity was 'Other' only (i.e. no UK national identity). The darker the blue, the higher the proportion of people who identified their national identity as 'Other' only in that council area.

Chart 1.19: Proportion of people reporting 'Other Only' national identity, Scotland, 2011

Chart 1.19: Proportion of people reporting 'Other Only' national identity, Scotland, 2011

Source: Census 2011, National Records of Scotland

Chart 1.20 shows a comparison between the number of people in Scotland, in 2011, who recorded a Polish ethnicity (61,000) and the number who were born in Poland (55,000) - there is a close relationship between the two sets of figures at council level.

City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City showed the largest difference, with around a thousand more people in each city declaring their ethnicity as 'White: Polish' compared with the number who had Poland as their country of birth. City of Edinburgh and Aberdeen City recorded the highest proportions declaring a 'White: Polish' ethnicity, at 3 per cent of their populations.

Chart 1.20: A comparison of Polish Country of Birth and Ethnicity by council area, Scotland, 2011

Chart 1.20: A comparison of Polish Country of Birth and Ethnicity by council area, Scotland, 2011

Source: Census 2011, National Records of Scotland

The African population showed a different profile (see Chart 1.21). Here, fewer people reported an 'African' ethnicity than the numbers who were born in an African country. Glasgow City was the only Scottish city where the number of people reporting their ethnicity as 'African' was greater than the number who were born in an African country (though only very slightly).

The release by NRS later in 2014 of cross tabulations of census results will allow the relationship between ethnic group and country of birth to be explored further.

Chart 1.21: A comparison of African Country of Birth and Ethnicity by council area, Scotland, 2011

Chart 1.21: A comparison of African Country of Birth and Ethnicity by council area, Scotland, 2011

Source: Census 2011, National Records of Scotland