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[this is a icon-] A slice from a data cube dataset

Population of Settlements and Localities 2020: a data cube slice

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  1. All
  2. Under 16 years
  3. 16-64 years
  4. 65 years and over
  5. 0-4 years
  6. 5-9 years
  7. 10-15 years
  8. 16-19 years
  9. 20-24 years
  10. 25-29 years
  11. 30-34 years
  12. 35-39 years
  13. 40-44 years
  14. 45-49 years
  15. 50-54 years
  16. 55-59 years
  17. 60-64 years
  18. 65-69 years
  19. 70-74 years
  20. 75-79 years
  21. 80-84 years
  22. 85-89 years
  23. 90 years and over
Measure Type
  1. Count
Reference Period
  1. 2020
  1. All
  2. Female
  3. Male
Reference Area
(showing types of area available in these data)
  1. Localities
  2. Settlements
Entire dataset
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About the Dataset
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In dataset
Next update due
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These statistics provide population estimates for the settlements and localities of Scotland as at mid-2020. Settlements and localities are groups of adjacent, high-density postcodes whose combined population rounds to 500 people or more. They are separated by low-density postcodes. More information can be found in the methodology guide.

Confidentiality Policy
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Quality Management

The population estimates for settlements and localities, along with other population and demographic statistics, have been designated as National Statistics by the United Kingdom Statistics Authority (UKSA). To ensure that they continue to comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics requirement of sound methods and assured quality, they are thoroughly quality assured.

Any major increases or decreases in population for any settlement or locality are checked to ensure that they can be reasonably explained and are consistent with population trends in the surrounding areas.

Local authorities have also been invited to participate in a consultation process to provide advice on settlement boundaries and how localities should be identified within larger settlements.

Accuracy and Reliability

Breakdowns by sex and age groups are provided at unit level, but it is not implied that estimates are accurate to this level of detail. The population figures are estimates that have gone through a number of stages of processing, each of which may impact on the quality of the estimates.

The main issue with accuracy is the quality of the postcode estimates that are produced for the publication. Data zone populations are aggregated down to postcode populations based on the number of residential dwellings obtained from the Royal Mail. Dwellings’ populations can vary and some are vacant or used as second homes. This method assumes all dwellings have a proportionate share of the data zones population. In most cases, data zones are contained completely inside Settlements and Localities so the postcode breakdown is irrelevant. The accuracy is instead reliant on the quality of the SAPE publication . Additionally, the estimates by sex and age for settlements and localities can be affected by areas close to but outside of the settlement or locality with unusual age or sex ratios - for example, military bases and university halls of residence. Communal establishments are considered separately in the methodology to prevent this, however our data on communal establishments is not always complete.

For more information on the accuracy and reliability of the Settlements and Localities datasets please see the methodology guide on the NRS website.

Coherence and Comparability

Users should exercise caution when comparing the settlement or locality population estimates with previous years. Whilst an increase in population may be due to new build, it may also be due to the inclusion of existing housing which had previously been separated from the settlement by a low density postcode (and vice versa for a population decrease). 

Accessibility and Clarity

National Records of Scotland makes its products accessible according to published guidelines. More information is available in the accessibility section of the NRS website.


These statistics are used by both local authorities and central government for various purposes including:

Contributing to the ‘Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification’ publication which is based on the identification of key population thresholds of 3,000, 10,000, and 125,000;

Helping to identify rural settlements in which properties may be eligible for non-domestic rate relief under the terms of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997; and

Helping to identify communities which may be entitled to purchase land under the terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

Timeliness and Punctuality
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This slice of multidimensional data is not a Linked Data resource in the database: it's a virtual resource (i.e. you can't query it by SPARQL). But does have a permanent unique URL which can be bookmarked.
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Dimension Locked Value
75-79 years
Reference Area
(not locked to a value)
Reference Period
(not locked to a value)
(not locked to a value)
Measure Type
(not locked to a value)