National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Household numbers continue to rise

Household numbers continue to rise

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2019
Demography News Image

The number of households in Scotland has continued to increase to 2.48 million in 2018, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

'Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2018' shows that over the last ten years the number of households in Scotland has grown by around 139,000 (six per cent).

More than a third of households are single person households, and an estimated 885,000 people are living alone (Scottish Household Survey 2017, figure below).

The growth in households is partly due to the rising population, but also because people are increasingly living alone, or with fewer other people. Households consisting of only one person have been the most common type in Scotland since 2010.

Line graph showing the number of one person, two person and three or more person households

The number of households has increased in every council area over the last ten years, with the greatest relative increases occurring in Midlothian (16%) and the Orkney Islands (13%).

According to the estimates published today, there were 2.62 million dwellings in Scotland in 2018. A total of 83,400 dwellings (three per cent of all dwellings) were empty, including 39,300 classified as long-term (more than six months) empty and 44,100 as unoccupied exemptions (such as new homes yet to be occupied and dwellings undergoing repair or awaiting demolition). A further one per cent (25,000) of dwellings were second homes.

Empty and second homes are concentrated in different parts of the country. For example, remote rural areas have a higher percentage of empty and second homes than urban areas

An Infographic and Interactive data visualisation for the publication Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2018 can be found on the Infographics and Visualisations page of this website.