Highland profile - key facts and figures

Population

The population of the Highland Council Area is Estimated for the end of June each year by National Records of Scotland. This is known as the "Mid Year Estimate".

The latest available information relates to Mid year 2016

Population

Results from the 2011 Census show that the population of Highland on Census day was 232,132 increasing to 235,180 in mid 2017.

A range of useful Highland Council Area statistics to Mid Year 2016 is available in the following Summary:

Highland Council Area Statistics

Highlights include:

  • Population of Highland Area  in Mid 2016 - 234,770 - 7th largest of 32 Council areas in Scotland
  • Since 1996 - population has increased by 12.5% (Scotland-wide increase of 6.1%)
  • People aged 75+ increase by 55.3% in the 20 years to 2016
 

Highland

Total 

% of Highland

Population

% of Scottish

Population

0-15

39,972

17.0

16.9

16-24

22,033

 9.4

11.2

25-44

52,948

22.6

25.7

45-64

69,741

29.7

27.6

64-75

25,582

12.2

10.3

75 and over

21,494

9.2

8.2

Highland Settlement Populations 2011 to 2016

  • Inverness population has increased from 62285 to 63780 (+1495 or +2.3%)
  • Mallaig (-70 or -9.3%) and Kinlochleven (-72 or -8.9%) have shown the biggest percentage falls in population in this period
  • Kiltarlity has shown the biggest (10.7%) increase from 376 to 422 (+45) followed by Fortrose and Rosemarkie (+9.2%)from 2095 to 2306 (+211)Fort William population has decreased from 10292 to 10175 (-117 or -1.2%)
  • Thurso and Scrabster  population has decreased from 8234 to 7850 (-384 or -4.9%)
  • Wick population has decreased from 6932 to 6798 (-134)

Population by Settlement Development Areas (SDA) - 2016

Includes settlements with estimated populations greater than 1000.

 Settlement

Population

Settlement 

Population

Inverness

 63,780

Kingussie

1,473

Fort William

10,175

Beauly

1,469

Nairn

10,022

Evanton

1,406

Thurso

7,850

Golspie

1,367

Wick

6,798

Dornoch

1,277

Alness

 6,101

Brora

1,209

Dingwall

5,519

Ardersier

1,203

Invergordon

3,788

North Kessock

1,165

Tain

3,595

Drumnadrochit

1,164

Aviemore

3,324

Maryburgh

1,149

Muir of Ord

2,767

Newtonmore

1,114

Portree

2,523

Broadford

1,095

Grantown-On-Spey

2,484

Strathpeffer

1,075

Fortrose and Rosemarkie

2,306

Avoch

1,043

Conon Bridge

2,014

Halkirk

1,043

Ullapool

1,526

Seaboard Villages

1,027

Source - National Records for Scotland (NRS) supplied Mid Year Estimates for Datazones  mid 2016 with Highland Council  adjustments for partial Datazones

The full set of settlement populations are available for download here:

Settlement Populations 2011 to 2016

 

Interactive Map

Population Projections

The most recent population projections for Highland (trend based upon data to Mid 2016) show that if current trends continue the population is expected to rise to 237,988 by 2041, a 1.4% increase from 2016. This incorporates a "Natural change" of -13,022 (more deaths than births) in this period and a "To and From Scotland component for Highland of +20,062 - with "Internal Migration" of -3,274 (moves out of Highland to other Scottish locations) in this period.

Gender

 2016

2021

2026

2031

2035

2041

% Change 2016

to 2041

Total

 234,770

 237,311

238,779

239,242

238,974

237,988

1.4

Source:  NRS  Principal Projection

In 2016 - NRS supply a range of variants to account for different potential fertility, mortality and migration rates going forward. Highland has been particularly dependent upon migration to maintain and grow the population due to an excess number of deaths against births in recent years. This is projected to continue. One variant of particular interest is the "Zero outwith Scotland migration variant - assuming a zero NET migration figure for each area.

In the Highland case the figures using different variants projected forward 10 years differ as follows

Gender

2016 Mid year

Estimate

 2026 Principal

Projection

% change

2026 Zero Net Migration

Outwith Scotland

% change

Total

234,770

 238,779

+1.68

 228,499

-2.67

Source:  NRS  Zero Migration Variant

Sub Council Area Population Projections

Using the NRS Mid Year Population Estimates Supplied to 2016 to calculate a sub-council area level projection for Highland Housing Market Areas (HMAs) we identify quite different changing populations for each Housing Market Area projecting 25 years forward. This is due to the underlying make up of the population and the trend based projection used.

Year

Highland

Inverness

Badenoch and Strathspey

Caithness

East Ross

2016

234770

80895

13777

25807

21572

2021

237311

83302

13807

24970

21146

2026

238779

85339

13701

23982

20616

2031

239242

87063

13522

22861

19977

2036

238855

88590

13293

21637

19273

2041

237988

89930

13047

20367

18586

 

Year

Lochaber

Mid Ross

Nairn

Ross and Cromarty West

Skye and Lochalsh

Suther

land

2016

19806

23675

13209

9234

13136

13659

2021

19669

24423

13492

9441

13591

13470

2026

19478

25100

13723

9625

13990

13225

2031

19252

25676

13898

9780

14306

12907

2036

18972

26143

14008

9913

14529

12497

2041

18646

26572

14083

10038

14687

12032

 

 

Source: HC Principal Projection constrained. Based upon NRS supplied data

Tell us something about this topic How is this webpage?