Edinburgh has lowest number of ‘Scottish only’

Tim Ellis, Registrar General for Scotland and Amy Wilson, Head of Census Statistics, with the survey results. Picture: Esme Allen

Tim Ellis, Registrar General for Scotland and Amy Wilson, Head of Census Statistics, with the survey results. Picture: Esme Allen

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Edinburgh has the lowest proportion of residents who class themselves as “Scottish only” of any local authority area in Scotland.

Across Scotland, almost two-thirds of people opted to describe themselves that way rather than “Scottish and British”, “Scottish and [some other nationality]” or “British only”.

But in the Capital only 48.8 per cent identified themselves as “Scottish only” when the question on national identity was asked for the first time in the 2011 census.

The survey results reveal the Capital has become more cosmopolitan since the last census in 2001 with ethnic minorities making up eight per cent of the population.

The number of Edinburgh residents born outside the UK has almost doubled since 2001 – from 8.3 per cent to 15.9 per cent – but Aberdeen saw an even bigger increase and now equals the Capital in having the most foreign-born residents. A table of white ethnic groups also shows Edinburgh’s population includes the lowest percentage of Scots – 70.3 per cent compared with a national figure of 84 per cent and the highest of 93.8 per cent in Inverclyde.

Council leader Andrew Burns said the city’s cosmopolitan identity should be welcomed.

He said: “The increase in ethnic diversity is a real positive. It does come with challenges for the local authority in terms of services we need to provide, like English language support at primary school level, but that’s something we’re managing to cope with and we welcome the growth in diversity.

“Edinburgh has its faults like any city, but in the main it is a tolerant place.”

The census question on religion showed the Capital with just 24.3 per cent of people identifying themselves as Church of Scotland – the lowest apart from Glasgow (23.1 per cent), and well below the national figure of 32.4 per cent.

Roman Catholics make up 12.1 per cent of the city’s population, according to the figures – compared with a national figure of 15.9 per cent – and “other Christian” accounted for 6.9 per cent. Muslims were 2.6 per cent.

But 44.8 per cent said they were “no religion” – well above the national figure of 36.7 per cent.

Edinburgh was the only place in Scotland where the percentage of households with access to a car or van fell between 2001 and 2011 – from 60.5 per cent to 60.1 per cent. The national average is 69.5 per cent.