National Records of Scotland

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Commentary

Commentary

Table 1 and Table 2 show the estimated resident population by age, sex and legal marital status for Scotland for mid-2008. Marital status population estimates are based on the 2001 Census and take account of subsequent births, deaths, marriages, divorces and net migration. The estimates are consistent with the mid-year population estimates. The 2008 figures show that around 51% of men and 47% of women aged 16 and over were married. This is lower than in 2001 when 56% of men and 51% of women aged 16 and over were married. Over the same period, the proportion of the population aged 16 and over that is divorced has increased slightly, from 6% to 7% for men and 8% to 9% for women.

Table 3 provides details of marital status estimates for mid-2001 to mid-2007 which were previously published under the Vital Events reference tables. Following a review of methodology, the estimates for mid-2002 to mid-2007 have been revised and replace the previously published estimates. The basis for the revisions is threefold:

1) The new estimates use ‘date of decree’ based data, rather than the ‘proxy-year’ based data used previously. Please go to Divorces and Dissolutions - Background Information for further information on the difference between these data sources.

2) An error in the number of divorces used for the mid-2007 estimates has been corrected.

3) The accuracy of the number of widows and widowers aged 16-19 has been improved.

On the whole, the revisions are minor and generally result in a change of less than 1% for the total estimate of men and women in each marital status category. However, for mid-2007, the revisions result in an increase of the estimate of the divorced population by 2.2% for men and 1.6% for women. Across all years, the effect of the revisions is greatest in the 16-24 age-group, most noticeably in the relatively large reductions to the estimates of widows and widowers at these ages. The spreadsheet available below provides a comparison between the previously published and the revised estimates.

The file below has been made available as Excel spreadsheets and can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).

Marital Status Estimates mid-2002 to mid-2007 - Comparison of previously published and revised estimates
(Excel    PDF)

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