Census 2011: More Scots living at home alone

Shopping Scotland's population is getting older and has more people living by themselves

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More than a third of Scottish households are made up of people living on their own, according to the latest results from the 2011 Census.

The number of people living by themselves has overtaken every other type of household for the first time.

According to the statistics, the number of households in Scotland with at least one usual resident on census day in 2011 was estimated to be 2,372,780.

The figures also show an increase in the number of older people.

Six local authority areas were found as having one fifth or more of the population aged 65 and over. They were Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, Eilean Siar, South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders and Perth and Kinross.

The council areas with the lowest percentage of the population aged 65 and over were West Lothian, Glasgow City, City of Edinburgh and Aberdeen City.

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Tim Ellis, chief executive of the National Records of Scotland, said the latest statistics made for interesting reading.

He said: "For the first time ever, single person households are the most common household type, accounting for more than a third of all households in Scotland.

"The results also show that whilst the overall population is growing and getting older, there is considerable variation in the picture across Scotland.

"Some areas have seen small increases in overall numbers but significant changes in their population age structure, whilst other areas have seen larger overall increases but less pronounced ageing of the population."

In 1961, one-person households were the least common type and accounted for 14% of all households.

By 2011 they had become the most common household type and accounted for 35% of all households.

The newly-released statistics add to information from the 2011 Census that was published in December last year. The new statistics also show:

  • One-person households range from 27% in Aberdeenshire to 43% in Glasgow City.
  • The average household size in Scotland on census day was 2.19 people per household and ranged from 2.02 in Glasgow City to 2.42 in East Renfrewshire.
  • In 2011, 17% of the population were aged 65 and over - ranging from 14% in West Lothian to 22% in Argyll and Bute.
  • 16% of the population were aged under 15 in 2011. This percentage ranges from 14% in Aberdeen City to 19% in West Lothian.
  • Since 2001 the number of households in Scotland has increased by 180,530 from 2,192,250 to 2,372,780. All council areas saw increases with the largest in Orkney Islands (17%), Aberdeenshire (15%) and Highland (14%). The smallest increases were in East Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute and Inverclyde.

The first set of results from the 2011 Census in Scotland had shown that the population of the country was at its highest level ever.

The population on Census Day was 5,295,000 - up 5% (233,000) since 2001 and the highest rise between two censuses in the past century.

The census was carried out on 27 March 2011.

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