This is the eleventh edition of Rural Scotland Key Facts – a publication intended to be an easily accessible reference for statistics on rural Scotland. This 2018 version updates statistics from the tenth edition where new statistics have become available. Previous editions can be found on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Statistics publications website at: https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries/PubRural
For some of the statistics included in the publication, reference is made to targets set by the Scottish Government; more details can be found on the National Performance Framework website at: http://nationalperformance.gov.scot/
Most figures in this booklet have been rounded to zero decimal places. The percentage figures given in tables and figures have been independently rounded, so they may not always sum to the relevant sub-totals or totals.
The following symbol is used throughout the tables in this publication: – = nil
The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the primary source for information on local labour markets. It combines results from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the English, Welsh and Scottish Labour Force Survey boosts, resulting in a sample of approximately 17,000 households for Scotland. Further information on the Annual Population Survey is available from http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/Publications. Data are National Statistics.
Information relating to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is available from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ashe/annual-survey-of-hours-and-earnings/index.html. ASHE is a UK wide survey that was developed to replace the New Earnings Survey in 2004. Data are National Statistics.
Information on the destination of school leavers 2016-17 was provided to the Scottish Government by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). SDS collected information on the destination of each young person, they had identified as being a school leaver during September 2017 (initial destination) and March 2018 (follow-up destination). A pupil is counted as a school leaver if they have a leaver record in SDS’s data, a pupil census record for the same academic year, and no pupil census record in the following academic year. The school leaver destinations data is matched to the pupil census for further analysis by pupil characteristic. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/Pub-SS-ALM. Data are National Statistics.
The Estimates of Households and Dwellings publication by the National Records of Scotland provides figures on the use of housing stock in Scotland. It sources the information from local authority records and council tax systems. More information can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/housholds/household-estimates. Data are National Statistics.
For tables and figures referencing the National Records of Scotland (NRS), figures are derived from a number of sources including Registered Births and Deaths and Mid-Year Population Estimates. Further information is available at http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data. Data are National Statistics.
Hospital admissions data are sourced from Information Services Division (ISD), NHS Scotland. More information can be found on the ISD Scotland website at http://www.isdscotland.org/Publications/index.asp. Data are Official Statistics.
The Inter Departmental Business Register is maintained by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is a database of all registered enterprises operating in the UK, i.e. enterprises that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE. It covers 99% of economic activity in the UK. Those excluded are small sole traders or partnerships with no employees and an annual turnover of less than the VAT threshold (£85,000 as at 1st April 2017). Further tables from the Inter Departmental Business Register can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Business/Corporate. Data are National Statistics.
Information on the number and value of house sales in Scotland is obtained from Registers of Scotland. Further statistics on house sales and house prices can be obtained from their website at http://www.ros.gov.uk. Data are Official Statistics.
Information on crime rates have been sourced from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. The survey is a large-scale continuous survey measuring people’s experience and perceptions of crime. It conducts 6,000 face-to-face interviews with adults every year. Further results from the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/crime-and-justice-survey/publications. Data are National Statistics.
For tables and figures sourced from the Scottish Household Survey, the unweighted base numbers for households population, rounded to the nearest ten, are 1,100 for remote rural, 1,100 for accessible rural, and 8,480 for the rest of Scotland. There are occasional variations in base sizes for individual tables and figures. Further detail on the base numbers is available in ‘Scotland’s People Annual Report: Results from 2017 Scottish Household Survey’, published on 4th September 2018. The sample sizes are smallest for remote rural areas so there are larger confidence intervals associated with the statistics for this area than for the rest of Scotland figures. Further information on the Scottish Household Survey is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/16002. Data are National Statistics.
Details on the Scottish House Condition Survey are available at the survey’s website here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SHCS. Data are National Statistics.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) provides a wealth of information to help improve the understanding about the outcomes and circumstances of people living in the most deprived areas in Scotland. Information on drive times to services and the number of people income and employment deprived from the SIMD is presented in this publication. Information on income deprived and employment deprived people is based on people in receipt of certain disability and unemployment benefits. More information can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/SIMD. Data are National Statistics.
Scottish Household Survey, Scottish House Condition Survey, Annual Population Survey, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and Scottish Crime and Justice Survey figures are all based on surveys which sample a proportion of residents of Scotland. Figures quoted are best estimates of the true value, based on the survey results which have been weighted to represent the population. However, small differences in estimates, between geographic areas and years, are not necessarily always statistically significant.
Related publications by Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services
- Agriculture Facts and Figures 2018:
- Economic Report on Scottish Agriculture 2018:
- Estimate of Community Owned Land in Scotland 2017:
- Understanding the Scottish Rural Economy:
- A ‘single adult’ household contains one adult of working age and no children.
- A ‘small adult’ household contains two adults of working age and no children.
- A ‘single parent’ household contains one adult of any age and one or more children.
- A ‘small family’ household contains two adults of any age and one or two children.
- A ‘large family’ household contains two adults of any age and three or more children, or three or more adults of any age and one or more children.
- A ‘large adult’ household contains three or more adults and no children.
- An ‘older smaller’ household contains one adult of working age and one of pensionable age and no children, or two adults of pensionable age and no children.
- A ‘single pensioner’ household contains one adult of pensionable age and no children. Pensionable age is 60 for women and 65 for men.
Housing Tenure The ‘Scottish Household Survey’ collects information on the ways in which households occupy their accommodation and from which organisation or individual their accommodation is rented, where this is the case. These are combined into a housing tenure variable, namely:
- Owner occupied, which includes households who own outright and those buying with a mortgage or loan.
- The social rented sector, which includes households renting from a local authority and all households renting from a Housing Association or Co-operative.
- The private rented sector, which includes households renting from an individual private landlord.
- Other tenure, which includes any other category of tenure such as living rent free.
Energy Performance Certificates – Energy Efficiency Ratings
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in January 2009 under the requirements of the EU Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD). They provide energy and environmental ratings for buildings based on standardized usage. EPCs are required when a property is either sold or rented to a new tenant.
EPCs are generated through the use of a standard calculation methodology, known as Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). SAP is the UK Government approved way of assessing the energy performance of a building, taking into account the energy needed for space and water heating, ventilation and lighting and, where relevant, energy generated by renewables. Outputs include the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER).
The EER is expressed on a scale of 1 to 100 where a dwelling with a rating of 1 will have very poor energy efficiency and high fuel bills, while 100 represents very high energy efficiency and low fuel bills. Ratings can exceed 100 where the dwelling generates more energy than it uses. Ratings are adjusted for floor area so that they are essentially independent of dwelling size for a given built form.
For EPCs EERs are presented over seven bands, labelled A to G. For EERs, band A represents low energy cost and high energy efficiency, while band G denotes high energy cost and low energy efficiency. The EERs reported in this publication are taken from in the ‘Scottish House Condition Survey 2016 – Key Findings’, published on 5th December 2017, and are calculated under the SAP 2012 methodology.
More information about EPCs can be found on the Scottish Government Building Standards website: /publications/energy-performance-certificates-introduction/
Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification
The Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification is based on settlement size as defined by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and accessibility based on drive time analysis to differentiate between accessible and remote areas in Scotland. The classification is updated every two years although the definition of urban and rural areas remains unchanged. Settlements of less than 3,000 population are defined as rural, settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000 population are small towns and the remainder are classified as urban (10,000 plus population). Small towns and urban areas are described as ’Rest of Scotland’ in this publication.
The latest version of the classification is the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016 (https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/03/6040). The Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016 updates the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2013-2014 with the latest available population settlement and drive time estimates.
Where possible, it is appropriate to use the classification that relates to the year it is being applied to. As a result, most of the tables in this publication are based on the 2016 classification. Details of all previous classifications can be found at the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification website: http://www.gov.scot/urbanrural
The majority of data used in this publication have been assigned a Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification based on unit postcodes. The remaining data have been assigned using data zones, which have been have been classified into the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification using ‘best fit’ methods. Further information on this is available from the urban rural publication link above.
Alternative urban rural classifications are used in the other regions of the UK. In England and Wales the Rural Urban Classification that is mainly used defines rural areas based on settlements of less than 10,000 people (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/2011-rural-urban-classification). The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) Urban Rural Definition is the most widely used classification in Northern Ireland and is based on population size, population density and service provision (http://www.nisra.gov.uk/geography/UrbanRural.htm).
The Scottish Government uses the Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification as it is very flexible i.e. not only can it be used to show the degree of rurality of an area, it can also be used to distinguish between accessible and remote areas, irrespective of rurality. The classification also has the flexibility to be compressed to either a two fold (urban, rural) or three fold classification (remote rural, accessible rural, rest of Scotland), depending on user needs.
In Rural Scotland Key Facts we have chosen to use the three fold classification as the purpose of the booklet is to contrast rural Scotland to the rest of Scotland to highlight key differences and similarities between the areas. The three fold classification also allows us to identify differences between remote rural and accessible rural areas i.e. areas which are within and outwith reasonable drive times of larger settlements and key services.
The Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification is also easy to understand and apply both within and outwith the Scottish Government. In addition, the nature of rurality is different in each region of the United Kingdom and it is therefore preferable to use a classification best suited to each region’s needs. For example, the current England and Wales rural population threshold of 10,000 people would not be appropriate for use in the Scottish context.
Glossary of Abbreviations and Acronyms
APS Annual Population Survey
ASHE Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
DSL Digital Subscriber Line
EER Energy Efficiency Rating
EPBD Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
EPC Energy Performance Certificate
EU European Union
GP General Practitioner
HNC Higher National Certificate
HND Higher National Diploma
IDBR Inter Departmental Business Register
ISD Information Services Division
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
LFS Labour Force Survey
NHS National Health Service
NISRA Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
NRS National Records of Scotland
ONS Office for National Statistics
PAYE Pay As You Earn
SAP Standard Assessment Procedure
SCJS Scottish Crime and Justice Survey
SDS Skills Development Scotland
SHCS Scottish House Condition Survey
SHS Scottish Household Survey
SIMD Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
SME Small and Medium sized Enterprise
UK United Kingdom
VAT Value Added Tax
Neil Henderson: RuralStatistics@gov.scot