National Records of Scotland

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Increase in number of households

Increase in number of households

Friday, 25 Jun 2021
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The number of households in Scotland increased to 2.51 million in 2020, according to figures published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The latest figures show that over the last ten years the number of households in Scotland has grown by 142,800 (6%).

More than a third of households are occupied by a single person, and an estimated 900,000 people are living alone.

The increased number of households is partly due to an increase in the 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.

The number of households has increased in every council area over the last ten years. Midlothian (15%), East Lothian (11%) and Orkney Islands (10%) showed the biggest relative increases.

Increase in number of dwellings

The figures show there were 2.65 million dwellings in Scotland in 2020. 90,500 (3%) of these were empty, which included new homes yet to be occupied and dwellings awaiting repair or demolition. A total of 24,500 (1%) dwellings are second homes.  Remote rural areas generally have higher proportions of empty and second homes than urban areas.

Sandy Taylor, Head of Household Statistics said:

“These latest statistics show a continuation of established trends in the number and type of households that we have seen over the last ten years.” 

The publication Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2020 is available on this website. 

The latest (mid-2020) population estimates for Scotland are also published today.