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National Statistics - Rural Scotland Key Facts 2011

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People and Communities

Demographics

Table 1: Population by Geographic Area, 2001, 2008 & 2009

200120082009% change
2001-2009
% change
2008-2009
Remote Rural317,813334,688335,8125.7%0.3%
Accessible Rural558,907613,420620,22311.0%1.1%
Rest of Scotland4,187,4804,220,3924,237,9651.2%0.4%
Total5,064,2005,168,5005,194,0002.6%0.5%

Source: National Records of Scotland, 2009 (2009 mid-year estimates based on data zones)
(All 2001, 2008 and 2009 figures are based on Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2009-2010)

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 2009, the population has increased in all areas of Scotland. The greatest increase in population has been in accessible rural areas, with an 11% increase between 2001 and 2009, compared to an increase of 5.7% in remote rural areas and 1.2% in the rest of Scotland.

The increase in population in rural areas between 2008 and 2009 will be primarily due to the positive net migration rates, as birth and death rates in rural areas are similar (as shown in Table 2).

Figure 1: Percentage of Population and Land by Geographic Area, 2009

Figure 1: Percentage of Population and Land by Geographic Area, 2009

The total land mass of Scotland is approximately 7.8 million hectares. Figure 1 shows that although rural Scotland accounts for 18% of the total population in Scotland (6% 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). This reflects the dispersed nature of the population in rural areas. 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, 2009

Figure 2: Age Distribution of Population by Geographic Area, 2009

Figure 2 shows that the age distribution of rural areas compared to the rest of Scotland is markedly different for particular groups of the population. Specifically, rural areas have a much lower percentage of the population in the ages 16-34 but a higher proportion of people aged 45 and over. Evidence suggests that factors influencing migration decisions of young people moving out of rural areas could be higher education and employment opportunities, housing and public transport availability.

Table 2: Internal Population Change and Migration by Geographic Area, 2009

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Births (2009)3,0136,46549,568
Births per 1,000 population91012
Deaths (2009)3,5105,65544,691
Deaths per 1,000 population10911
Migration (2008-09)
In-migration18,29238,224106,064
Out-migration16,72931,24492,912
Net Migration1,5636,98013,152
Net Migration as % of population0.5%1.1%0.3%

Source: National Records of Scotland, 2009
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-2010)

Table 2 shows that the birth rate (per 1,000 population) exceeded the death rate in accessible rural areas and the rest of Scotland but not in remote rural areas.

The rate of births was higher in rest of Scotland (12 per 1,000 population) than in accessible rural (10) and remote rural (9) areas. The rate of deaths was also higher in rest of Scotland (11 per 1,000 population) than in remote rural (10) and accessible rural (9) areas.

The table also shows positive net migration into all three areas of Scotland over the year 2008-09, i.e. the number of in-migrants was greater than the number of out-migrants. Net migration rates were highest in the accessible rural areas, equivalent to 1.1% of the population.

Table 3: Country of Birth by Geographic Area, 2010

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Scotland75%81%85%
Rest of UK22%15%8%
Rest of World3%4%7%
Total100%100%100%

Source: Annual Population Survey, 2010
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-10)

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. The table shows that the areas with the highest proportion of residents who were born in the UK but outside of Scotland are remote rural areas at 22%. The rates for accessible rural areas and the rest of Scotland were 15% and 8% respectively.

The area with the highest proportion of residents that were born outside the UK is the rest of Scotland (7%). Four per cent of residents of accessible rural areas and 3% of residents of remote rural areas were born outside of the UK.

Households

Table 4: Household Type by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Single adult15%13%20%
Small adult19%21%19%
Single parent3%4%5%
Small family12%15%13%
Large family7%7%6%
Large adult9%9%10%
Older smaller19%17%13%
Single pensioner16%14%14%
Total100%100%100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-2010)

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

Neighbourhood and Community

Figure 3: Rating of Neighbourhood as a Place to Live by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Figure 3: Rating of Neighbourhood as a Place to Live by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Figure 3 shows that across all areas of Scotland, over 90% of residents rate their neighbourhood as a 'very good' or 'fairly good' place to live.

People living in remote rural areas are more likely to describe their neighbourhood as a 'very good' place to live (78%), compared to accessible rural areas (70%) and the rest of Scotland (51%).

Tables 5-8 overleaf provide further detail on neighbourhoods and safety which may explain the results shown above.

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 [1].

Table 5: Aspects of Neighbourhood Particularly Liked by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Pleasant environment66%57%58%
Safe environment35%24%19%
Good public transport3%7%24%
Good amenities44%43%46%
Sense of community/friendly people85%83%70%
Other2%1%2%
None2%4%5%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-2010)
Notes:
1. Respondents can choose more than one option.

Table 5 provides some context as to why residents of rural Scotland may be more likely to rate their neighbourhood as a 'very good' place to live (as shown in Figure 3). A higher percentage of residents of remote and accessible rural Scotland particularly like the safe environment and the friendliness of their community.

However, few people in rural areas state that they enjoy good public transport facilities, compared with the rest of Scotland.

Table 6: Experience of Neighbourhood Problems by Geographic Area, 2009-10
(% saying they have personal experience of problem)

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Vandalism, graffiti or other deliberate damage to property3%4%9%
Groups or individuals intimidating or harassing others3%3%5%
Seeing drug misuse of dealing2%3%6%
Rowdy behaviour e.g. drunkeness, hooliganism or loutish behaviour5%6%13%
Neighbours or regular loud parties3%4%10%
Neighbour disputes4%4%5%
Rubbish or litter lying around14%14%20%
Abandoned or burnt out vehicles1%2%1%
Animal nuisance such as noise or dog fouling15%16%19%
None69%67%57%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-2010)
Notes:
1. Respondents can choose more than one option.

Table 6 shows that in every category, apart from 'abandoned or burnt-out vehicles', a lower percentage of people in remote and accessible rural areas have experienced neighbourhood problems. For example, only 3% and 4% 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, 14% of people in both remote and accessible rural areas state that rubbish or litter lying around is a problem, whilst 20% state this is a problem in the rest of Scotland.

Table 7: Perceptions of Safety When at Home Alone at Night by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Very safe91%86%79%
Fairly safe8%12%18%
A bit unsafe1%1%2%
Very unsafe0%0%1%
Don't know0%0%0%
Total100%100%100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification, 2009-2010)

Table 7 shows that the majority of people in all areas of Scotland feel either 'very safe' or 'fairly safe' when at home alone at night. However, a higher proportion of people in remote rural (91%) and accessible rural areas (86%) state they feel 'very safe' compared to the rest of Scotland (79%).

Table 8: Crime Victimisation and Perception of Change in Crime Rates Over Previous Two Years by Geographic Area, 2009-10

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Percentage of adults who had been the victims of crime in the last 12 months8%12%18%
Proportion of adults who perceived that:
Crime rate has increased over last 2 years21%20%27%
Crime rate has stayed the same over last 2 years73%70%58%
Crime rate has decreased over last 2 years4%6%10%
Don't know2%3%5%
Total100%100%100%

Source: Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2009-2010)

The crime victimisation rates in Table 8 may provide an explanation as to why residents of rural Scotland are more likely to feel safe alone in their home at night (as shown in Table 7). A smaller proportion of residents of remote (8%) and accessible rural (12%) areas had been victims of crime in the past 12 months compared to the rest of Scotland (18%).

In terms of perception of changes in crime rates, people from all areas of Scotland are more likely to state that they feel crime rates have remained the same over the last two years.

A lower proportion of people in rural Scotland state they feel crime has increased, when compared to the rest of Scotland. However, this is also true of the proportion of people who feel crime has decreased.

In 2007, the Scottish Government introduced National Indicators to reduce overall crime victimisation rates by two percentage points by 2011 [2] and to increase positive public perception of the general crime rate in the local area [3], against a 2006 baseline.

Table 9: Whether Respondent Gave Their Time to Help as an Organiser/Volunteer in the Past 12 Months by Age and Geographic Area, 2009-10

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
16-6465+Total16-6465+Total16-6465+Total
Yes50%41%47%39%30%37%28%24%27%
No50%59%53%61%70%63%72%76%73%
Total100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%

Source: Scottish Household Survey, 2009-10
(Using Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2009-2010)

In rural Scotland, a higher proportion of people give up their time to help as a volunteer or 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 (50%).

Physical Environment

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

Remote RuralAccessible RuralRest of Scotland
Proximity to SPRI sites:
% population within 0-500 metres0%1%4%
% population within 500-1,000 metres1%4%13%
% population within 1,000-2,000 metres3%10%30%
% population over 2,000 metres95%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.