National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

30 years of Household Change in Scotland

30 years of Household Change in Scotland

Census Results 1971-2001
  • The total number of households increased from 1,698,340 to 2,192,246.
  • The total population decreased from 5,113,280 to 5,062,011.
  • The average age of the Scottish population increased from 31 to 38.
  • The number of marriages fell from 43,000 to 30,000, and an increasing proportion of these marriages were between non-Scottish residents at Gretna Green.
  • The average age of first marriage for women rose from 22 to 28.
  • The general fertility rate per 1,000 females aged 15-44 fell from 85.8 to 48.8 births.
  • The number of divorces per year rose from 6,500 to 11,000.
  • The average size of the household decreased from 2.92 to 2.27.
  • The percentage of single person households which had a person of pensionable age fell from 67% in both 1971 and 1981 to 55% in 1991 and 46% in 2001.

Possible reasons for these changes are summarised. 

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