Household sizes shrink across majority of Scotland in last 20 years

Homes in Edinburgh and Glasgow have increased in occupancy size despite falls elsewhere in the country.

Scottish household sizes shrink outside Edinburgh and Glasgow in last 20 years iStock
The number of Scottish households has fallen in all but two areas.

Household sizes across Scotland have shrunk in all but two parts of the country over the last 20 years, according to a new report.

An average of 2.12 people lived in more than 2.67 million homes in 2021 – down from 2.27 in the equivalent accommodation in 2001.

However, National Records of Scotland (NRS) data found those in Edinburgh and Glasgow grew by 4% in the same time period.

Figures also show that the total number of households in Scotland reached 2.53 million in 2021, an increase of 334,300 since 2001.

Those in Aberdeenshire, East Lothian and Orkney saw the largest rise in household numbers, increasing by more than 25% in each case.

However, single occupancy remains the most common type of dwelling.

Sandy Taylor, head of household statistics said: “These latest statistics show a continuation of the trends in the number and type of households that we have seen over the last 20 years.

“The growth in the number of households is partly due to an increase in the population but it is also because people are increasingly living alone or with fewer other people.”

Meanwhile, 88,300 homes across the country are classed as “vacant,” although that figure includes those yet to be fully built or awaiting repair or demolition.

Around 1% of all home are labelled as second homes, amounting to 24,000 properties, mostly in rural areas.