National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



Corrections and Revisions
We have made some small revisions to the files below since they were initially published. For more details please refer to the Geography Revisions and Corrections page.


For a considerable period of time there has been an interest in statistics relating to Scotland's inhabited islands. The following dataset only requires amendment where an inhabited island is no longer populated, or vice versa.

Island boundaries

Provided in Zip format that can be used for census statistics.
Islands 2011
Islands 2020
Islands 2021
Islands 2022

Island Groups

At the time of the 2011 Census, there were 110 islands known to receive mail, of which 93 were recorded as having at least one resident during enumeration.

The process of creating Output Areas resulted in smaller islands (in terms of population) being merged with neighbouring islands to meet the confidentiality thresholds for census output.  This resulted in 56 island groups for the 2011 Census.

Island Groups boundaries

Shapefiles provided in Zip format that can be used for 2011 Census statistics.

Please note: The files above are Zipfiles, the following files are quite large so may take a few minutes to download.

Useful Information

If you're having problems viewing this data please visit our Data Download Support

For licencing information please visit our Geography Licencing section


Please contact our Geography Customer Services if you need any further information.
E-mail: [email protected]

A list of common definitions and acronyms used in these pages is available on our Glossary page.