National Records of Scotland

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Mid-2003 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland

Mid-2003 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland

 Revised 1 June 2005


The publication Scotland’s Census 2001 : Key Statistics for Settlements and Localities Scotland contained estimated Census Day populations for each of the settlements and localities in Scotland.

Table 3 and Table 4 attached to this note provide updated mid-2003 estimates for localities. This follows on from Table 1 and Table 2, published on 28th February 2005, which contained the mid-2003 estimates for settlements. Table 3 lists all the localities in alphabetical order and also lists both the settlement and the Council area(s) in which they are located. Table 4 lists the localities in descending order of population size.

Revised versions of these tables were produced on 1 June 2005, to take the village of Darnick out of the settlement/locality of Galashiels. These revised tables reflect the fact that the Darnick portion of the Galashiels settlement/locality as originally defined was (1) separated from other residential parts of the settlement/locality by industrial development and (2) joined to that industrial development by a single postcode.

Depending on how the annual cycle of producing Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) settles down, it is hoped to produce settlements for any future given year by the end of the following year (e.g. the 2005 set of settlements should be available before the end of 2006).

It is intended to publish a report later this year which will highlight the different settlement and locality populations in 2001 and 2003 and will also provide more details about the methodology used to calculate the estimates in both of these years.

Background notes

In the years between censuses, National Records of Scotland (NRS) maintains data on unit postcodes including a boundary enclosing all of the addresses assigned to that postcode. These boundaries are used as 'building bricks' in the definition of settlements.

NRS used Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) to generate populations of postcodes as the basis for calculating which unit postcodes were classed as 'high density' in 2003 and which were not. A postcode was defined as 'high density' if one or more of the following three 'threshold' conditions were met:

  1. The number of residential addresses per hectare exceeded 2.1.
  2. The estimated population per hectare exceeded 5.
  3. The number of non-residential addresses per hectare exceeded 0.1.

While different thresholds were used for some islands areas in the 2001 settlements and localities exercise, the same thresholds were applied to all parts of Scotland in 2003.

Once it had been decided which postcodes were high density, settlements were identified as groups of contiguous high density postcodes, such that the group had a total population of 500 or more. In most cases, a settlement is exactly equivalent to the locality of the same name, in that the settlement is not divided into two or more localities. Around 35 settlements have been divided into two or more localities and  locality figures are therefore now being added to those for settlements released earlier. Those settlements which contained more than one locality were given the name of their largest locality and suffixed by the words 'Settlement of' e.g. 'Edinburgh, Settlement of'.

The breakdown to locality level is particularly useful for the Glasgow settlement area, as it contains a total of 41 separate localities. The locality of Glasgow in 2003 is defined differently from the 2001 Census, in that separate figures have been produced this time for Rutherglen and Cambuslang.

The estimate for each locality has been rounded to the nearest 10. For the small number of settlements which crossed local authority boundaries (Table 3), the population estimates for each constituent part of the locality were also rounded to the nearest 10. As a result, the overall population figure for some of these localities does not exactly equal the sum of its constituent parts. For some localities where only a very small proportion was in a different local authority area, this rounding has resulted in the figure appearing in Table 3 as 0.


1. Details are available on request of which settlement/locality (if any) each postcode was allocated to. Because of the way in which postcode boundaries are drawn, it is possible for some postcodes to contain residential addresses which might be regarded as part of a village/town/city but which have been excluded from the settlement/locality because the postcode contains a large amount of nearby rural land. For some postcodes, it may be possible to redraw the boundaries to obtain a tighter fit to the settlement/locality. With a reduction in the size of the postcode, its density is increased and this may result in it being included within the settlement/locality. We invite comments from local authorities and other interested parties specifying any such postcodes. Any changes made as a result of this consultation exercise cannot be made retrospectively, or to the 2004 settlements/localities exercise as postcode boundaries for 2004 have already been finalised. In addition, for any changes to be reflected in the 2005 settlements/localities exercise, NRS will have to be notified by Wednesday 13th  July 2005.

2. NRS also invites comments about how a particular settlement is divided into localities e.g. is the division of the Settlement of Falkirk into the localities Carron, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Polmont and Denny the most appropriate division? Again, any changes resulting from this could not be retrospective. However, it is possible for changes to be taken on board in time for the 2004 settlements/localities exercise, which is likely to begin around October 2005

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Note: On 27 July 2007 the Mid-year population estimates for 2003-2006 were revised for the six Council areas of Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Moray and Perth & Kinross. However, the statistics on this page were produced using unrevised population estimates. Revised statistics will be placed on this web page once they become available. More details on the Revised Mid-year Population Estimates 2003-2006 are available from this website.


Table 3
Mid-2003 Population Estimates - Localities in alphabetical order
(Excel    CSV    PDF)
Table 4
Mid-2003 Population Estimates - Localities in descending order of size
(Excel    CSV    PDF)


For further information about localities, please our contact Statistics Customer Services.

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