August 31, 2005


More Scots living solo

A story published today in the Herald reports that More people in Scotland are living on their own than ever before, new figures revealed yesterday.

Although the population is falling, the total number of households is continuing its steady increase, and has now risen by 10% since 1991.

The figures emerged when Duncan MacNiven, the registrar general for Scotland, issued figures on the estimated number of households. In June last year, Scotland had 2.25 million households, 21,000 more than the previous year and 203,000 more than in 1991.

MacNiven said: "Although Scotland's population has fallen slightly since 1991, the number of households is increasing because the average household size is getting smaller."

In the 1991 census, the proportion of one-adult households was 29%, but this has now risen to 34%.

Nick Bailey, of Glasgow University's department of urban studies, was not surprised that the figures showed a rise in solo living.

He said: "This is part of a long-standing trend which has seen the average size of households fall consistently for many decades.

"More elderly single people, rising levels of divorce and separation, and growing income levels for some mean more people are living on their own, and it is not likely that any of these things will change in the near future."

The results showed that Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen have higher rates than the country as a whole.