National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future




1. Introduction

  1. This bulletin presents 1996-based household projections produced by The Scottish Office Development Department. These update the 1994-based projections published in August 1997 in Statistical Bulletin HSG/1997/5 and incorporate the 1996-based population projections.
  2. These household projections are calculated by applying trends in household formation observed in the 1971 and 1991 Censuses of Population to the 1996-based population projections prepared by the Government Actuary's Department and the National Records of Scotland. It is important to note that the projections should not be treated as forecasts but as an indication of what might happen in the future if past trends were to continue. No account is taken of trends in household formation since 1991.

Chart 1

Chart 1  Projected Households in Scotland by Household 1996-2010

Notes and definitions

  1. Individual figures in the tables have been rounded to the nearest 100. The totals shown may therefore not be equal to the sum of the constituent parts.
  2. Only the selected projection years have been shown due to the limited printing space available. Projected household information for other years is available on request.
  1. Private household population refers to the population excluding those who live in communal establishments, such as defence establishments, educational establishments, nursing homes, etc.
  2. Where children are included in a household type, although they mainly consist of children aged 1-15, they may also include a number of 16-18 year olds classified as dependent children in the census (mainly people still at school).
  3. 3. Average household size, that is, the average number of persons in private households, is calculated by dividing the private household population by the number of households.

2. Summary of main points from the projections

The main points to emerge from the projections are:

  • The total number of households in Scotland is projected to increase by 10 per cent (210,000) from 2,136,000 in 1996 to 2,346,000 in 2010.
  • One person households accounted for an estimated 30 per cent of all households in 1996, and are projected to increase to 34 per cent by 2010.
  • Lone adults with children account for only around 6 per cent of all households throughout the projection period.
  • The private household population is projected to fall by around 71,000 from 5.02 million in 1996 to 4.95 million in 2010, in line with the projected fall in total population.
  • The average household size is projected to fall from 2.4 persons in 1996 to 2.1 persons in 2010.
  • The projections for West Lothian and Aberdeenshire show the largest percentage increase in total households between 1996 and 2010 at over 20 per cent each.
  • Dundee City, East Ayrshire, Glasgow City and West Dunbartonshire have the smallest projected percentage increase in total households at between 2 and 4 per cent.
  • Inverclyde is the only area projected to have a decrease in total households (4 per cent).

3. Short description of the methodology

Household projections are produced approximately every 2 years. Their purpose is to give an indication of possible future numbers of households if trends observed in the past continue. It is important to realise that projections are NOT forecasts. The calculation of projected household numbers involves using the following two main sources of information:

  • Data on households from previous Censuses of Population can be used to identify trends which have taken place in household formation in the past. Census information is available for the years 1971, 1981 and 1991. This historic information is used to project possible future trends. For this set of household projections, the 1971 and 1991 Censuses of Population have been used (refer to Annex A.4 for details of other methods tried).
  • Population projections produced by the National Records of Scotland give an indication of possible future trends in population. Estimates of the numbers of persons living in communal establishments are subtracted from the total population figures to produce projections of the numbers of person living in private households.

The household projections are then calculated by applying projected trends in household formation, derived from the first of these sources, to projections of the numbers of persons in private households, derived from the second source.