National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Summary and Key Findings

Summary and Key Findings

This publication contains household estimates for Scotland and Scottish local authorities.  It includes background information on the number of occupied and vacant dwellings in each local authority area, and trends in household types.  The methods used to produce these figures have been revised, and the figures are now based on Council Tax billing information.
Key findings are:

  • Number of households: There were 2.25 million households in Scotland in June 2004, an increase of 21,000 (0.9 per cent) since the previous year, and an increase of 203,000 (10 per cent) since 1991.
  • Size of households: Since 1991, Scotland’s population has fallen by 0.1 per cent.  The number of households is increasing while the population is declining, because the average household size is getting smaller, with fewer large households and more people living alone.
  • Councils: The councils with the largest percentage increase in the number of households over the past year were North Ayrshire (2.7 per cent), Aberdeenshire (2.0 per cent) and West Lothian (1.8 per cent), while Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire showed very small decreases.
  • Dwellings: There were 2.38 million dwellings (self-contained units of accommodation such as a house or flat) in Scotland in September 2004.  The number of dwellings in Scotland has risen by 0.9 per cent over the past year, and by 2.4 per cent since 2001.
  • Vacant dwellings and second homes: In 2004, 4.6 per cent of all dwellings in Scotland were vacant or second homes (including some self-catering holiday accommodation).  The figures are highest in the island authorities, Argyll & Bute and Highland. 

Household type: 34 per cent of households contain just one adult, and 30 per cent consist of two adults with no children.  21 per cent of households contain two or more adults with one or more children, and six per cent consist of one adult with one or more children. Over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of adults living alone, and a decrease in the number of households containing two or more adults with one or more children.

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