Scotland - Demography


Scottish population by ethnic group - All People (2001)
% of
total Population
% minority
ethnic population
White Scottish 88.09 n/a 4,459,071
Other White British 7.38 n/a 373,685
White Irish 0.98 n/a 49,428
Any other White background 1.54 n/a 78,150
Pakistani 0.63 31.27 31,793
Indian 0.30 14.79 15,037
Bangladeshi 0.04 1.95 1,981
Chinese 0.32 16.04 16,310
Other South Asian 0.12 3.09 6,196
Caribbean 0.04 1.75 1,778
African 0.10 5.03 5,118
Black Scottish
(or any other Black background)
0.02 1.11 1,129
Any Mixed Background 0.25 12.55 12,764
Any other background 0.19 9.41 9,571
All minority ethnic population 2.01 100
All population 100.00 na 5,062,011
Main article: Demography of Scotland See also: Languages of Scotland, Religion in Scotland, and Scottish people

The population of Scotland in the 2001 Census was 5,062,011. This has risen to 5,222,100 according to June 2010 estimates. This would make Scotland the 113th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state. Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland it is not the largest city. With a population of just over 584,000, this honour falls to Glasgow. The Greater Glasgow conurbation, with a population of almost 1.2 million, is home to nearly a quarter of Scotland's population.

The Central Belt is where most of the main towns and cities are located. Glasgow is to the west, while Edinburgh and Dundee lie on the east coast, with Perth (its city status restored in 2012) lying 20 miles upstream on the River Tay from Dundee. Scotland's only major city outside the Central Belt is Aberdeen, on the east coast to the north. The Highlands are sparsely populated, although the city of Inverness has experienced rapid growth in recent years.

In general only the more accessible and larger islands retain human populations, and fewer than 90 are currently inhabited. The Southern Uplands are essentially rural in nature and dominated by agriculture and forestry. Because of housing problems in Glasgow and Edinburgh, five new towns were created between 1947 and 1966. They are East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston, Cumbernauld, and Irvine.

Following immigration since World War II, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee have small South Asian communities. As of 2001, there were an estimated 31,793 Pakistanis living in Scotland, making them the single largest non-White ethnic group. Since the recent Enlargement of the European Union more people from Central and Eastern Europe have moved to Scotland, and it is estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 Poles now live there.

Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Almost all Scots speak Scottish English, and in 1996, the General Register Office for Scotland estimated that 30% of the population are fluent in Scots. Gaelic is mostly spoken in the Western Isles, where a large proportion of people still speak it; however, nationally its use is confined to just 1% of the population. The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland dropped from 250,000 – 7% of the population – in 1881 to 60,000 today.

There are many more people with Scottish ancestry living abroad than the total population of Scotland. In the 2000 Census, 9.2 million Americans self-reported some degree of Scottish descent. Ulster's Protestant population is mainly of lowland Scottish descent, and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million descendants of the Scots-Irish migration now living in the U.S. In Canada, the Scottish-Canadian community accounts for 4.7 million people. About 20% of the original European settler population of New Zealand came from Scotland.

In August 2012, the Scottish population had reached an all time high, reaching 5.25 million people. The reason given was that in Scotland births were out numbering the number of Scottish deaths, and due to immigrants coming into Scotland from overseas. In 2011, 43,700 people moved from Wales, Northern Ireland or England to live in Scotland.

Largest cities or towns of Scotland
General Register Office for Scotland 2010 estimate
Rank City name Council area Pop. Rank City name Council area Pop.



1 Glasgow Glasgow City 589,900 11 Dunfermline Fife 48,240


2 Edinburgh City of Edinburgh 468,720 12 Ayr South Ayrshire 46,060
3 Aberdeen Aberdeen City 189,120 13 Perth Perth and Kinross 45,770
4 Dundee Dundee City 144,170 14 Inverness Highland 45,050
5 Paisley Renfrewshire 74,570 15 Kilmarnock East Ayrshire 44,830
6 East Kilbride South Lanarkshire 73,590 16 Greenock Inverclyde 43,450
7 Livingston West Lothian 55,070 17 Coatbridge North Lanarkshire 41,610
8 Hamilton South Lanarkshire 51,640 18 Glenrothes Fife 38,940
9 Cumbernauld North Lanarkshire 50,470 19 Airdrie North Lanarkshire 35,950
10 Kirkcaldy Fife 49,560 20 Falkirk Falkirk 35,170

Read more about this topic:  Scotland