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equality-and-poverty-analysis@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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Equality, Poverty & Welfare Analysis Team
Communities Analytical Services
Scottish Government
1F North Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Summary: Demographics

EqualitySummary: Demographics

 
Age
  • Based on 2016 population projections, the population of Scotland is projected to rise from 5.40 million in 2016 to 5.58 million in 2026, and to continue to rise to 5.69 million in 2041 – an increase of 5% over the 25 year period.

  • The population is projected to age as the large number of people around age 50 in 2016 become age 75 by 2041. This is the effect of baby boomers of the 1960s ageing over the next 25 years.

Scotland's population is projected to age

Source: NRS 2016-based population projections

 

More Information

Age Demographics page

Age Page

Disability
  • In 2011, 1,040,000 people had a long-term activity-limiting health problem or disability.

Source: 2011 Census: Release 2A (Table 8. Published: 2013, NRS)

 
  • In 2011, the overall proportion of people in Scotland with a long-term activity-limiting health problem or disability was slightly lower than in 2001 (19.6% compared to 20.3%). This is despite the fact that the number of people aged 65 and over increased by over 10%.

  • A higher proportion of people in Scotland (20%) reported a health problem or disability in 2011 than the UK as a whole (18%).

Source: Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census: Part 1 (Published: October 2014)

 

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Disability Demographics Page

Disability Page

Ethnicity

Detailed population estimates by ethnic group are available through Scotland's 2011 Census.

  • The size of the minority ethnic population in 2011 was just over 200,000 or 4% of the total population of Scotland (based on the 2011 ethnicity classification); this has doubled since 2001 when just over 100,000 or 2% of the total population of Scotland (based on the 2001 ethnicity classification) were from a minority ethnic group.

Source: 2011 Census: Release 2A (Published: 2013, NRS)

 

Further ethnicity related interactive maps, charts, and data tables from Release 2A of Scotland's 2011 Census are available on the National Records Scotland website:

 

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Ethnicity Demographics Page

Ethnicity Page

Gender

Scotland's population structure, Mid-2017

  • Scotland had a relatively even split between sexes in 2017, with 51% females and 49% males, although this varied amongst age groups. The youngest age groups had a higher male to female ratio as more male babies are born than female, whilst the oldest age groups had a lower male to female ratio as females have longer life expectancy in Scotland.

Source: Mid-2017 Population Estimates Scotland (Last updated: April 2018, NRS)

 

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Gender Demographics Page

Gender Page

Religion

Population estimates by religion are available through Scotland's 2011 Census.

  • In 2011, 54% of the population of Scotland stated their religion as Christian - a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2001, whilst 37% of people stated that they had no religion - an increase of nine percentage points.

Source: Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census: Part 1 (Published: October 2014)

 

Further religion related interactive maps, charts, and data tables from Release 2A of Scotland's 2011 Census are available on the National Records Scotland website:

 
 

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Religion Demographics Page

Religion Page

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation

Source: Scotland's Population 2016: Infographic Report (Last updated: August 2017, NRS)

 
  • In 2016, there were 998 same sex marriages in Scotland, following the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into force on 16 December 2014. Of these 998 same-sex marriages, 173 (17%) involved couples changing their civil partnership to a marriage. This is a large, and expected, fall from 56% of same-sex marriages in 2015.
  • There were 70 civil partnerships registered in Scotland in 2016, 6 (9%) more than in 2015. The Civil Partnership Act 2004, which applies throughout the UK and came into force on 5 December 2005, allows same-sex couples to register their partnership.

Source: Scotland's Population 2016 - The Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends (Last updated: August 2017, NRS)

 

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Sexual Orientation Demographics Page

Sexual Orientation Page

Transgender
  • The Registrar General for Scotland maintains a Gender Recognition Register in which the birth of a transgender person whose acquired gender has been legally recognised is registered showing any new name(s) and the acquired gender. This enables the transgender person to apply to the Registrar General for Scotland for a new birth certificate showing the new name(s) and the acquired gender. The Gender Recognition Register is not open to public scrutiny.

  • In 2016, there were 20 entries in the Gender Recognition Register, a decrease of 5 since 2015. 

Source: NRS Registration Division (2016)

 

More Information

Transgender Demographics Page

Transgender Page  

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

NRS Scotland Statistics (NRS) A range of National statistics/Official publications are available on the National Records of Scotland website.

2011 Census Releases (NRS) A summary of the 2011 census releases, with links to statistical bulletins. Age and gender is covered in releases 1A and 1B. Disability, ethnicity and religion is covered in releases 2A. Further detailed breakdowns are provided in release 3

Scotland's Population 2016: Infographic Report (NRS, August 2017) Scotland's Population 2016 - The Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends 162nd Edition

Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census: Part 2 (March 2015) Brings together relevant statistics from the census and other sources to paint a highly detailed picture of equality in Scotland. The policy areas covered are Labour Market, Education, Housing and Transport. The BSL section contains data by age.

Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census: Part 1 (October 2014) Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census, including Ethnicity, Gypsy/Travellers, Religion, Disability and BSL and contains data by age.

Overview of Equality Results from 2011 Census Release 2 (March 2014) This paper provides further analysis of equality data originally released from the Census by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). It pulls this together into a user friendly format providing new analysis and insight, particularly around deprivation. The main equality strands included in the paper are ethnicity, religion and disability.

Mid-2017 Population Estimates Scotland (NRS, April 2018) Population estimates by administrative area, Scotland, mid-2017

Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland (NRS, March 2018) Small area population estimates for settlements and localities in Scotland, by age and gender. Further population estimates are available in the annual mid-year small area population estimates for each data zone in Scotland

Mid-2016 Small Area Population Estimates for 2011 Data Zones (NRS, August 2017) Small area population estimates at data zone level, by age and gender

Local Area Migration 2016 (NRS, August 2017) This tool gives access to migration data from a range of sources for council and NHS Board areas. Information is also available on the strengths and weaknesses of each data source, what each data source indicates, and links are provided for further information. Covers age, gender and ethnicity

Characteristics of migrants in Scotland: Analysis of the 2011 Census (October 2016) Compares characteristics (including Age) of migrants from European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA countries with the Scotland-born population and migrants from the rest of the UK.

Data

Data

Scotland's Census

National Records of Scotland - More up to date information is available, as well as data tables including time series information, from the National Records of Scotland website.

Scotland's Census Data Explorer - Download data, charts and tables from the 2011, 2001 and 1991 Censuses.

Scotland's Census Future Publications - Visit the Scotland's Census Future Census Publications page to see what data is scheduled for release.

Future Developments

Future Developments

The main set of statistical outputs from Scotland’s Census 2011 have now been published and we are working through the requests received for commissioned outputs. For further information on submitting a request, visit the Commissioned Outputs page.

Planning has begun for Scotland’s Census 2021 and will build on the success of the census in 2011.

Select below for further information on:

Statistics in more details

Contacts

Demographics

National Records of Scotland Customer Services: Statisticscustomerservices@nrscotland.gov.uk