Population of Scotland

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Population of Scotland.

The population of Scotland on Census day is found to amount to 4,759,445, of whom 2,307,(303 are males and 2,451,842 females. The total population is found to be 287,342 more than, at the time of the Eleventh Census, which was in 1901. The increase of males is found to be 133,848, and of females 153,494. The total decennial increase is less than that found by any Census since 1861, but is more than the increases found by the Censuses of 1811 to 1851. The male decennial increase is less than what was found by the following Censuses:—1901, 1891, 1881, 1871, and 1821, but more than was found by the Censuses of 1861, 1851, 1841, 1831, and 1811. The increase of females is less than what was found by the 1881 and 1901 Censuses, but more than was found by all Censuses between 1811 and 1871, and more than was found by the Census of 1891. Thus the increase of males is greater than was found by five previous Censuses, and less than found by five Censuses; while the increase of females is greater than found by eight Censuses, and less than found by two Censuses.

The first Census of Scotland was taken in 1801, and the population was then found to be 1,608,420. By all following Censuses an increase of the national population has been found. In 1821 the national population for the first time exceeded 2,000,000; in 1861 it for the first time exceeded 3,000,000; and in 1891 it for the first time exceeded 4,000,000. The total increase of population during the period which has elapsed between the first Census and the present one, a period of one hundred and ten years, amounts to 3,151,025, or 195.9 per cent. This increase of 3,151,025 has been very unevenly distributed throughout the counties; 29 counties have increased their population, some of them by large amounts, but 4 counties—Argyll, Berwick, Perth, and Sutherland—have lost population, and now have a smaller population than in the year 1801. The largest increases of county populations during this period of 110 years are found in Lanark, 1,299,421, or 879.8 per cent.; in Edinburgh, 385,065, or 314.1 per cent.; in Renfrew, 236,073, or 300.7 per cent.; in Aberdeen, 190,285, or 157.1 per cent.; and in Ayr, 184,125, or 218.7 per cent.

A scrutiny of the changes of population during the last decade, since 1901, shows an increase in eighteen counties, and a decrease in fifteen. The greatest increases of county population are found in Lanarkshire (107,786), in Fife (48,894), in Dumbarton (25,966), and in Renfrew (45,594). The greatest decreases of county population are found, in Inverness (2834), Orkney (2803), Argyll (2741), and Forfar (2663).

The decennial rate of increase of population amounts to 6.4 per cent., that of the male population to 6.2 per cent., and of the female population to 6.7 per cent. In the previous decade the rate of increase of the total population amounted to 11.1 per cent., and thus the decennial rate of increase now found is 4.7, or 42 per cent., less than the rate found by the 1901 Census. The rates of increase found by the ten preceding Censuses varied between 15.8 in 1821, and 6.0 in 1861. The increase found in 1831 was 18.0 per cent.; in 1811, 12.3 per cent.; in 1881, 11.2 per cent.; in 1901, 11.1 percent.; in 1841, 10.8 per cent.; in 1851, 10.2 per cent.; in 1871, 9.7 per cent.; and in 1891, 7.8 per cent.

The natural increase of the population of Scotland, during the inter-censal period, the excess of births over deaths, amounted to 542,759, and is 255,417 more than the ascertained increase, the difference being a measure of the excess of emigration from Scotland during the period over the immigration into Scotland.

Since the passing of the Registration Act of 1854, it has been the rule in this Department, as also in England and elsewhere, to make an estimate of the population for post-censal years on the assumption that the inter-censal rate of increase of the male and female population, ascertained by the last Census, had continued. This method of calculation, though reasonably good when the conditions affecting a rise or diminution of population in a post-censal period differ but little from those of the previous inter-censal period, is of necessity faulty when they differ or new factors arise. It is on the above assumption that recent estimates of the population have been made, but, as the ascertained rates of increase of the male and female population for the decade 1901 to 1911 are both decidedly less than those of the previous decade, 1891 to 1901, the population estimates of the last ten years have all been too large. In the earlier years of the decade the error was small, but in the later years very considerable, and reached a maximum in the estimates for the first quarter of this year, when it amounted to 214,542, or nearly 4.5 + per cent. A result of the over-estimation of the population during recent years has been an under-statement of the birth-, death-, and marriage-rates. Thus, the birth-rate of the first quarter of this year based on the estimated population was 25.0 per thousand, while that based on the censal population is 26.1. The death-rate based on the estimated population was 16.2 per thousand, while that based on the censal population is 16.9. The principal birth-, death-, and marriage-rates of the decade 1901 to 1911 will all be recalculated on revised estimates of population and published in due course.

The rate of increase of the male population (6.2) is 57 less than that found by the 1901 Census (11.9 per cent.), and less than found by all previous Censuses with the exception of 1861, which was 5.4 per cent. This is the third Census which shows a decennial rate of increase of the male population of less than 10 per cent. The largest rate of increase of male population was that found by the 1821 Census, which amounted to 18.9 per cent.

The rate of increase of female population (6.7 per cent.) is also smaller than that of all previous decades, with the exception of the decade ending 1861, and is 3.6 less than the rate of increase in the previous decade.

The ratio of males to females in Scotland by the present Census is as 100 is to 106.2; that ratio in the previous Census was found to be 100:105.7. It varies widely in the different counties. In Bute this ratio is found to be 100:127.2; in Forfar, 100:122.2; in Shetland, 100:121.7; in Roxburgh, 100:118.7; and in Selkirk, 100:117.1; while in Linlithgow this ratio is 100:89.0; in Stirling, 100:95.5; in Ross and Cromarty, 100: 99.6; in Argyll, 100:100.2; and in Dumbarton, 100:100.6.

Of the total population of Scotland, 3,139,824 live in the burghs, and 1,619,621 in the extra-burghal portions of the country. The burghal population has increased since 1901 by 188,421, or 6.4 per cent.; the extra-burghal population has increased by 98,921, or 6.5 per cent. It ought, however, to be kept in view that a comparison between the figures representing the burghal and the extra-burghal population can scarcely be said to define the urban as distinct from the rural population, for some burghs in Scotland are so small that their conditions are practically rural, while some communities outside burghs are of such a size that their conditions are practically urban.

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