2011 Census

Results from the Census include the following:

  • The results from the 2011 Census show that the final estimated figure for the population of the Outer Hebrides was 27,684.  This is a 4.5% population increase from 2001
  • The final estimated figure for the number of households with usual residents was 12,576, an 11.5% increase since 2001. The number of households has increased faster than the number of people in households resulting in a decrease in the average household size
  • The average household size in the Outer Hebrides has decreased from 2.32 in 2001 to 2.17 in 2011
  • The Outer Hebrides is one of six council areas in which one fifth of the population are aged 65 and over: Arygll & Bute (21.9%), Dumfries & Galloway (21.8%), Outer Hebrides (21.6%), South Ayrshire (21.5%), Scottish Borders (20.9%) and Perth & Kinross (20.2%).  This represents a 13.8% increase in population aged 65 and over in the Outer Hebrides from 2001 to 2011
  • Along with all other council areas the Outer Hebrides experienced a decrease (-11.8%) in population aged 5 to 14, but as with most council areas saw an increase in population aged 5 and under (4.7%)
  • The population per square kilometre ranged from 9 in the Outer Hebrides and Highland areas to 3,395 in Glasgow City. 
  • Since 2001 the population of Scotland has increased by 5%.  This represents the fastest growth rate between two census years in the last century.
  • As in all other council areas, apart from the Shetland Islands, there are more females (50.6%) than males (49.4%)


Percentage Change in Age Group from 2001 to 2011

Figure 1: Percentage Change in Age Group from 2001 to 2011


Key Comparator Areas - Percentage Change from 2001 to 2011
Local Authority Area Aged under 15 aged 15-64 aged 65 and over
Outer Hebrides -7.2 4.7 13.8
Argyll & Bute -16.6 -5.2 15.0
Dumfries & Galloway -10.4 1.7 16.7
Shetland -7.5 5.7 22.4
Orkney -7.1 10.9 31.1
Moray -3.5 6.8 21.7
Highland 0.9 10.7 24.1
Scotland -5.8 6.0 10.6



Household Type as Percentage of all Occupied Households

  • Along with all council areas between 2001 and 2011 the number of households in the Outer Hebrides has increased faster than the number of people in households.  As a result of this, the average household size decreased in all council areas and has decreased from 2.32 to 2.17 in the Outer Hebrides          
  • This is following the trend in Scotland as a whole which has seen a decrease of 2.27 in 2001 to 2.19 in 2011
  • In Scotland one person households have increased from 14% in 1961 to 35% in 2011, thus changing from being the least common household type in 1961 to becoming the most common household type in 2011
  • As can be seen from the graph above, one person households are also the most common household type in the Outer Hebrides while only 5.8% of households contain 5 or more people

Further information is available on the National Records of Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website and on the Scotland’s Census Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Scotland’s Census 2011 - Outputs Prospectus

The Outputs Prospectus (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) is a document which sets out the release plans for statistics from Scotland's 2011 Census.  It describes what results are included within each of the releases and sets out indicative timings for future releases.