Thursday, 26 September 2013

2011 Scottish census results on identity, ethnicity and language

The latest results from the 2011 census have been published with some interesting finds, in the NRS's Key results on Population, Ethnicity, Identity, Language, Religion, Health, Housing and Accommodation in Scotland – Release 2A.

The headline finding likely to be picked up by the media in the last year of the referendum campaign for independence is that in 2011 the numbers of people in Scotland who considered themselves to be Scottish only was a hefty 62%. By contrast, the numbers feeling themselves to be both Scottish and British is 18%, and those who consider themselves only to be British just 8%. It's the first time the question on national identity has been asked.

Other notable statistics include the fact that the number of Scottish Gaelic speakers has slipped by 1000 from 59,000 in 2001 to 58,000, though the numbers speaking it who are under 20 has increased by 0.1%. Another interesting stat is that 1% of people over 3 years old speak Polish at home (some 54,000); the Poles were also the largest ethnic minority at 1.2% of the population. The numbers of folk using British Sign Language at home was 0.2% of the population.

54% consider themselves to be Christian - a massive drop from 2001 which recorded 63%. The Kirk saw a drop of 10% of religious adherents to 32%, whilst the number of Roman Catholics remained the same at 16% (0.8 million). 1.4% of Scots are Muslim, and the Scottish Jewish population has reduced to 6000 folk.

The numbers marrying since 2011 declined by 5%, whilst Scotland's total ethnic minority population has grown from 2% of those enumerated to 4%. The city with the largest ethnic population was Glasgow, at 12%, with Edinburgh and Aberdeen both having 8%. Very proud here to be part of the 0.7% of the UK birn population from Northern Ireland! Also of those born in the UK, 9% were English by birth and 0.3% Welsh. Of the non-UK born folk, 6% were from the Republic of Ireland and the same again from India.

The full findings are available from the National Records of Scotland at

UPDATES - results from the 2001 census are available at

And yup, the Beeb's picked up on the nationality point - see


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see

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