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Rural Scotland Key Facts 2010

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People and Communities

Demographics

Table 1: Population by Geographic Area, 2001, 2007 & 2008

2001

2007

2008

% change
2001-2008

% change
2007-2008

Remote Rural

319,043

334,186

336,056

5.3%

0.6%

Accessible Rural

561,234

608,170

617,953

10.1%

1.6%

Rest of Scotland

4,183,923

4,201,844

4,214,491

0.7%

0.3%

Total

5,064,200

5,144,200

5,168,500

2.1%

0.5%

Source: General Register Office for Scotland, 2009 (2008 mid-year estimates based on data zones)
(All 2001, 2007 and 2008 figures are based on Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)

Around 5.2 million people live in Scotland, with almost 1 million of them living in rural areas.

Table 1 shows that between 2001 and 2008, the population has increased in all areas of Scotland. The greatest increase in population has been in accessible rural areas, with a 10.1% increase between 2001 and 2008, compared to an increase of 5.3% in remote rural areas and 0.7% in the rest of Scotland. The increase in population across rural areas and the rest of Scotland has been fairly steady over this period.

Figure 1: Percentage of Population and Land by Geographic Area, 2008

Figure 1: Percentage of Population and Land by Geographic Area, 2008

Source: General Register Office for Scotland, 2008 (2008 mid-year estimates based on data zones)
(Using the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)

The total land mass of Scotland is approximately 7.8 million hectares. Figure 1 shows that although rural Scotland accounts for 19% of the total population in Scotland (7% in remote rural and 12% in accessible rural), it accounts for 94% of the land mass in Scotland (69% in remote rural and 25% in accessible rural). In contrast, the rest of Scotland accounts for 82% of the population of Scotland but only 6% of the land mass.

Figure 2: Age Distribution of Population by Geographic Area, 2008

Figure 2: Age Distribution of Population by Geographic Area, 2008

Source: General Register Office for Scotland, 2008 (2008 mid-year estimates based on data zones)
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008)

Figure 2 shows that compared to the rest of Scotland the population of rural areas have a different age distribution. Specifically, rural areas have a much lower percentage of the population in the age bands 16-24 and 25-34 but a higher proportion in the older age bands, especially at pension age.

Table 2: Internal Population Change and Migration by Geographic Area, 2008

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Births (2008)

3,020

6,574

50,447

Births per 1,000 population

9

11

12

Deaths (2008)

3,623

5,631

46,446

Deaths per 1,000 population

11

9

11

Migration (2007/08)

In-migration

20,661

44,064

109,061

Out-migration

18,387

34,043

101,380

Net Migration

2,274

10,021

7,681

Net Migration as % of population

0.7%

1.6%

0.2%

Source: General Register Office for Scotland
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)

Table 2 shows that there were more births than deaths in accessible rural areas and the rest of Scotland but more deaths than births in remote rural areas. Relative to their populations, the rate of births was higher in the rest of Scotland (12 per 1,000 population) than in accessible rural (11) and remote rural (9) areas.

The table also shows positive net migration into all three areas of Scotland over the year 2007-08, i.e. the number of in-migrants was greater than the number of out-migrants. Net migration was greatest in accessible rural areas, where it was equal to 1.6% of the population.

Table 3: Country of Birth by Geographic Area, 2009

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Scotland

76%

81%

85%

Rest of UK

21%

16%

9%

Rest of World

3%

4%

7%

Total

100%

100%

100%

Source: Annual Population Survey in Scotland, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)

Table 3 shows the proportions of Scotland's current population that were born in Scotland, in the rest of the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. Compared with the rest of Scotland a relatively high proportion of the people in rural areas were born in the rest of the UK, while the proportion born outside the UK is lower in rural areas than in the rest of Scotland.

Households

Table 4: Household Type by Geographic Area, 2009

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Single adult

14%

14%

21%

Small adult

21%

24%

20%

Single parent

3%

5%

5%

Small family

13%

14%

12%

Large family

8%

7%

6%

Large adult

8%

9%

10%

Older smaller

17%

15%

12%

Single pensioner

15%

12%

13%

Total

100%

100%

100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)
Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

Table 4 shows that, relative to the rest of Scotland, remote and accessible rural Scotland have lower percentages of single adult households. Rural Scotland also has a higher percentage of 'older smaller' households, that is, where one or both adults are of pensionable age.

A description of all household types can be found under Definitions in the Notes section on page 61.

Neighbourhood and Community

Figure 3: Rating of Neighbourhood as a Place to Live by Geographic Area, 2009

Figure 3: Rating of Neighbourhood as a Place to Live by Geographic Area, 2009

Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

Figure 3 shows that relative to the rest of Scotland, a higher percentage of people in rural Scotland rate their neighbourhood as 'very good' as a place to live. This is especially apparent in remote rural areas, where 80% of people rate their neighbourhood as a very good place to live, compared to 69% in accessible rural areas and 51% in the rest of Scotland. Nonetheless, in all areas of Scotland, over 90% rate their neighbourhood as a 'very good' or a 'fairly good' place to live.

In 2007, the Scottish Government introduced a National Indicator to increase the percentage of adults who rate their neighbourhood as a good place to live.

Table 5: Aspects of Neighbourhood Particularly Liked by Geographic Area, 2009

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Pleasant environment

67%

58%

57%

Safe environment

33%

22%

18%

Good public transport

2%

6%

24%

Good amenities

44%

41%

45%

Sense of community/friendly people

86%

82%

68%

Other

2%

2%

2%

None

1%

3%

5%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)
Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

Table 5 shows that a higher percentage of residents of remote and accessible rural Scotland particularly like the safe environment and the friendliness in their community. However, a higher percentage of the population of the rest of Scotland enjoy good public transport facilities.

Table 6: Experience of Neighbourhood Problems by Geographic Area, 2009
(% saying they have personal experience of problem)

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Vandalism, graffiti or other deliberate damage to property

2%

5%

11%

Groups or individuals intimidating or harassing

2%

3%

5%others

Seeing drug misuse or dealing

1%

3%

6%

Rowdy behaviour e.g. drunkenness, hooliganism or loutish behaviour

5%

7%

14%

Noisy neighbours or regular loud parties

2%

5%

10%

Neighbour disputes

3%

4%

6%

Rubbish or litter lying around

11%

14%

21%

Abandoned or burnt out vehicles

2%

2%

2%

Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling

13%

14%

18%

None

73%

76%

56%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)
Totals will not sum to 100% as respondents are able to choose more than one option.
Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

Table 6 displays that in every category of neighbourhood problems, apart from 'abandoned or burnt out vehicles', a lower percentage of people in remote and accessible rural areas have experienced such problems. For example, only 2% and 5% in remote and accessible rural areas respectively, say they have had a problem with noisy neighbours or loud parties while the figure is 10% in the rest of Scotland. Similarly, 11% of people in remote rural areas and 14% in accessible rural areas state that rubbish or litter lying around is a problem, whilst 21% state this is a problem in the rest of Scotland.

Table 7: Perceptions of safety when at home alone at night by Geographic Area, 2009

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Very safe

92%

83%

78%

Fairly safe

6%

15%

19%

A bit unsafe

1%

1%

2%

Very unsafe

1%

0%

1%

Don't know

0%

1%

0%

Total

100%

100%

100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2007-2008)
Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

Table 7 shows that, relative to the rest of Scotland, people in rural Scotland perceive where they live to be safer when at home alone at night. For example, 92% in remote rural and 83% in accessible rural feel 'very safe' while at home alone compared to 78% in the rest of Scotland. Overall, over 95% of people in all areas of Scotland feel either 'very safe' or 'fairly safe' when home alone at night.

Table 8: Crime Victimisation and Perception of Change in Crime Rates by Geographic Area, 2008-09

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Percentage of adults who had been the victims of crime in the last 12 months

8%

16%

22%

Proportion of adults who perceived that:

Crime rate has increased over last 2 years

23%

23%

29%

Crime rate has stayed the same over least 2 years

72%

68%

58%

Crime rate has decreased over least 2 years

*

6%

10%

Don't know

*

3%

4%

Total

100%

100%

100%

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, 2008-09
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008)
Notes:
1. *based on sample <50 and unreliable.
2. Totals may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

A smaller proportion of residents in remote rural Scotland have been victims of crime in the past 12 months than in accessible rural areas and the rest of Scotland. In addition, a smaller proportion of people living in remote and accessible rural areas feel that crime rates have increased in their area over the past two years, compared to residents of the rest of Scotland.

In 2007, the Scottish Government introduced National Indicators to reduce overall crime victimisation rates by two percentage points by 2011 and to increase positive public perception of the general crime rate in the local area, against a 2006 baseline.

Table 9: Whether Gave Up Time to Help as an Volunteer/Organiser in the Past 12 Months by Age and Geographic Area, 2009

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

16-64

65+

Total

16-64

65+

Total

16-64

65+

Total

Yes

50%

40%

48%

35%

30%

34%

26%

23%

26%

No

50%

60%

52%

65%

70%

66%

74%

77%

74%

Total

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008)
Note: Scottish Household Survey results have recently been published based on the 2009-2010 Urban Rural Classification and as such some results may differ. Please see the Sources section for more information.

In rural Scotland, more people give up their time to help as a volunteer/organiser than in the rest of Scotland. A greater proportion of people aged 16-64 gave up time to work as a volunteer/organiser, compared to people aged 65+, in all areas of Scotland. The highest rate of volunteering was observed for people aged 16-64 in remote rural areas.

Physical Environment

Table 10: Percentage of Population Living in Proximity to Sites on the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory ( SPRI) by Geographic Area, 2005

Remote Rural

Accessible Rural

Rest of Scotland

Proximity to SPRI sites:

% population within 0-500 metres

0%

1%

4%

% population within 500-1,000 metres

1%

4%

13%

% population within 1,000-2,000 metres

3%

10%

30%

% population over 2,000 metres

95%

86%

53%

Source: Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory, Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA),
(2004 mid-year population estimates based on data zones)
(Using Scottish Executive Urban Rural Classification, 2005-2006)

Sites that report to the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory include Pollution Prevention and Control ( PPC) Part A processes; Radioactive Substances Act ( RSA) Band A and Band B sites, such as nuclear power stations, hospitals and universities; waste water treatment works; waste management sites and caged marine fish farms.

Table 10 shows that 47% of people in the rest of Scotland live within 2,000 metres of a site on the SPRI register compared to 15% in accessible rural areas and 4% in remote rural areas.