1961 summary census data for parishes and some urban wards, linked to boundary polygons.

Table ID:
PAR_WARD_1961_S     (62147)
1961 summary census data for parishes and some urban wards, linked to boundary polygons.
Approx. number of rows:
Table type:
Raw Data
Documentation Author:
Paula Aucott
Reporting units are identified by:
   Parish- or sub-Parish-level Unit
The data cover the period 1881 to 1911.


  1. The statistical data are transcribed from three Census tables. For the four Scottish cities data came from Table 3A 'Acreage, Population, Private Houserholds and Dwellings' by 'County of City, City Wards, Conurbation Centre'. For the counties data came from Table 4B 'Population, Historical Table, 1801-1961' which was divided into civil parishes under each county. For the five parishes which were partly within Glasgow and partly in Lanarkshire the population counts came from Table 3B 'Population by Sex' for 'Civil Parishes'.
  2. This table also includes, as geographical objects, the boundaries of all areas for which statistics are held. These combine our parish boundaries for 1951, as created much earlier, with the results of a small EU-funded project in 2014-15 to gather in maps showing ward boundaries for the four Scottish cities.
  3. Table 4B notes that 'the population figures for 1961 in tables 3B, 3C and 4B have been compiled independently of the computer processing system.' This means that the county totals vary slightly between the tables and consequently so will the internal county figures.


  1. These are the only data published from the 1961 census for areas smaller than districts of county, except for burgh wards.
  2. The polygon data file was a compilation of two separate files, Parishes for Scotland from 1951 plus the 1961 Scottish city ward boundaries. They were merged using the Geo-processing > merge function in ArcGIS. The boundaries of the parishes surrounding the four cities were then edited to fit the edge of the ward boundaries. The city ward boundaries were taken to be more accurate than the parish boundaries for two reasons, firstly becasue they relate to 1961 and secondly because the spatial resolution of the parish boundary mapping was only 6 miles to the inch. Table 3B in the 1961 Census county reports has a footnote stating that the boundary of the civil parish and the city were coterminous for Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.
  3. The statistical data was linked to the polygon data via the "join data" function using the "join attributes from a table" option on the unit ID for the parishes and by name for the wards. The resulting temporarily joint table was then exported to a new permenant polygon coverage including these datasets.
  4. This coverage was re-projected from the British national grid to the European projection used throughout the database, ETRS89 LCC (Lambert Conformal Conic) in ArcGIS using the Data Management Tools > Projections and Transformations > Feature > Project function.
  5. Usefully mappable rates can be calculated from these data for the cities. Listed in the table as originally published are:
    • Population density, i.e. persons per acre: pop_1961 / area_acres
    • Persons per room: pop_hou / rooms_occ
    • Population density over 1.5 per room
    . Others could be calculated, for example as we have done for percentage of total persons at more than 1.5 per room: (persons_over * 100 / pop_hou)
  6. Although Table 3A does exist in the county reports it does not use a parish geography. Instead it uses Districts of County together with small and large Burghs, some of which are divided into wards. As Districts of County generally cover a larger area than parishes, we do not have the ward boundaries for any of the burghs, and as our transcription of Table 3A was incomplete for some counties during the EU-funded 2014-15 project, it was felt that using total population counts for parishes from Table 4B would be more useful for this project.
  7. Five parishes were split between, and listed in, two different 1961 county reports. As we do not have any maps to define where the boundary between these parts ran, and our parish boundaries do not have a high degree of positional accuracy the populations of the two parts have been summed and assigned to a single poylgon for the parish. The parish is assigned to the county with the part that had the largest population.
    • Kirkliston - West Lothian (4238) and Midlothian (1004)
    • Melrose - Roxburgh (4643) and Selkirk (1670)
    • Croy and Dalcross - Inverness (517) and Nairn (325)
    • Terregles - Dumfries (7447) and Kirkcudbright (380)
    • Troqueer - Dumfries (9229) and Kirkcudbright (731)
  8. Total city populations from three Scottish cities (Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh) almost exactly match the population count for the parish of the same name in the two tables (3A and 4B), so using a compilation of two different census tables which reported in two different geographies was not an issue. Glasgow differed because the area of the city covered both the parish of Glasgow and parts of the areas of several other parishes. New Kilpatrick in Dunbartonshire together with Cathcart, Eastwood, Renfrew, Paisley and Neilston, all in Renfrewshire, were all split with Lanarkshire and that part of the parish area in Lanakrshire was considered inside the city limits. All these parishes could all be separated out and the parish polygons were only given the population counts from the parish areas outside Lanarkshire. Those parishes solely within Lanarkshire proved more problematic as we could not distinguish the spatial distribution of the population inside and outside the city boundary using just these two tables. The parishes concerned were: Cadder, Carmunnock, Glasgow, Old Monkland and Rutherglen. We used population figures from Table 3B to differentiate between areas of the parish inside and outside the city limits and only added the figures for the area outside the city.


  1. The figures for the parish populations for 1951 and 1961 were summed by county to check they matched the total given per county. The sub-totals where the county was split into mainland and islands was also checked by summing the two sub totals and matching to the county total.
  2. The names and counties given against the parish populations were matched against the AUO to obtain unit IDs for the statistics. The statistics were then matched up to the polygons using the parish unit ID.


IndexTypeColumn(s) indexed
par_ward_1961_s_pkey Primary key gid


The table has the following associated constraints:

par_ward_1961_s_pkey Primary Key See details above for primary key index
enforce_dims_g_foot_etrs Check (public.st_ndims(g_foot_etrs) = 2)
enforce_geotype_g_foot_etrs Check ((public.geometrytype(g_foot_etrs) = 'MULTIPOLYGON'::text) OR (g_foot_etrs IS NULL))
enforce_srid_g_foot_etrs Check (public.st_srid(g_foot_etrs) = 3034)

Columns within table:

gid Integer number. Sequence number keeping the data in order, derived from polygons rather than census data.
cnty_unit Integer number. ID number from the AUO corresponding to container unit.
cnty_name Text string (max.len.=84). Name of container unit, for parishes the county and for wards the County of City.
par_unit Integer number. ID number from the AUO corresponding to area_name, where the row is for a Scottish Parish. ID is '0' where unit is a ward.
g_name Text string (max.len.=84). Name of unit, for parishes as extracted from the AUO based on the Preferred English name. For wards transcribed from the table.
area_sqm float8 Area of the unit in square metres calculated using the 'calculate geometry' column in ArcGIS.
pop_1951 Integer number. Number of persons enumerated in the administrative unit in 1951.
pop_1961 Integer number. Number of persons enumerated in the administrative unit in 1961.
area_acres Integer number. Area of the unit as reported by the census, in acres.
ma_1961 Integer number. Number of males enumerated in the administrative unit in 1961.
fe_1961 Integer number. Number of females enumerated in the administrative unit in 1961.
pop_den float8 Persons per acre.
h_hold Integer number. Number of private households.
pop_hou Integer number. Population in private households.
dwelling Integer number. Structurally separate dwellings occupied.
rooms_occ Integer number. Rooms occupied.
den_occ float8 Density of occupation, persons per room.
den_1_5_up float8 [No description available]
persons_over Floating point number. Approximate number of persons at more than 1.5 per room. The census report lists the 'Percentage of persons at more than 1 1/2 per room', including one decimal place. To enable the data to be aggregated, we re-stated this as a number of persons by multiplying it by the population in private households.
notes Long text. Any notes about individual polygons.
g_foot_etrs geometry Boundary polygon.