Statistical News Release

Small Area Population Estimates, mid-2017.

Figures published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) provide the latest mid-2017 population estimates for Scotland's small areas, known as data zones.

These statistics provide important information at neighbourhood level and can be used as building blocks to provide estimates for a variety of geographies, including wards, parliamentary constituencies, urban/rural and deprived areas. They also feed into the development of the Scottish Government's Urban Rural Classification and the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

Key findings from the latest statistics:

  • As at mid-2017, the average data zone population in Scotland was 755 people. The council area with the highest average data zone population was City of Edinburgh (836), whereas the council area with the lowest average data zone population was Argyll and Bute (677)
  • The majority of data zones (84.1%) had a population of between 500 people but fewer than 1,000 people, which is consistent with the population thresholds used in the design of data zones
  • There were 337 data zones (4.8%) with a population of fewer than 500 people while there were 772 (11.1%) data zones with a population of 1,000 people or more. These changes are mainly due to housing developments and demolitions
  • The median age varied considerably across data zones from 19 years to 72 years. The most common age group was 48 to 49 years, with 733 data zones having a median age in this range
  • 70.9% of the population of Scotland live in large urban and other urban areas (settlements of 10,000 or more people; based on the Scottish Government Urban Rural 2016 Classification).


The full publication, infographic summary and detailed data zone tables are available on the NRS website - Mid-2017 Small Area Population Estimates Scotland. You can also search for a postcode on to see the map of the data zone it is in and access the latest population estimates by sex and age.

NRS have also updated tables 7 and 8 in their Age-standardised Death Rates publication for 2017 and added a new table showing age-standardised death rates by SIMD quintile for selected causes of death.

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