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27/06/13 10:14

Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2012

The National Records of Scotland has released estimates of the number of households and dwellings in Scotland, including figures on occupied and vacant dwellings, second homes and trends in household types.

Figures published today show that the growth rate of households in Scotland is at its slowest rate in 10 years.

Tim Ellis, the Chief Executive of the National Records of Scotland said:

“While the number of households in Scotland has been increasing year on year since 2001, the growth rate has slowed since 2007, with the increase over the last year at the lowest in the past 10 years.

“The main reason for this is likely to be the economic downturn, which led to reductions in new house building, and the constrained mortgage and labour market.”

The report’s main findings are:

Number of households

  • The number of households in Scotland has increased every year for the last 10 years. In mid-2012, there were 2.39 million households in Scotland – an increase of around 175,000 (eight per cent) over the last 10 years.
  • However, the rate of household increase has slowed substantially since the start of the economic downturn. Over the last year, the number of households increased by 10,700 (0.4 per cent). This is the lowest yearly increase in the last 10 years.
  • In all local authorities in Scotland, the average household size fell between 2001 and 2008. Since 2008, it has remained constant, but in a few areas (mainly the big cities), household size has started to increase slowly.

Local authority figures

  • The number of households has increased over the last year in every local authority except Inverclyde (a fall of 42 households) and West Dunbartonshire (a fall of eight households).
  • Over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the number of households in all areas.
  • The areas with the greatest increase over the last 10 years in percentage terms have been Orkney Islands (an increase of 16 per cent, 1,377 households) and Aberdeenshire (an increase of 15 per cent, 13,637 households). The City of Edinburgh has seen the largest increase in terms of absolute numbers (17,973 households, an increase of 9 per cent).

Notes to editors

1. These figures are based on the National Statistics publication released today by National Records of Scotland (NRS):

‘Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2012’

2. These statistics are mainly used for informing decisions about housing need and service provision.

3. Small area statistics on the characteristics of households and number of dwellings are available from the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website at These statistics include the number of dwellings by Council Tax band, type of dwelling, number of rooms, density of housing, and the percentage of dwellings which are occupied, vacant, second homes, or are entitled to a ‘single adult’ Council Tax discount, or an ‘occupied exemption’ (e.g., all-student households or armed forces accommodation).

4. Further statistics produced by NRS, and information about our statistics, can be accessed at: