National Records of Scotland

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Mid-2004 Population Estimates for Settlements in Scotland

Mid-2004 Population Estimates for Settlements in Scotland

9 November 2006



The 2004 population estimates for settlements in Scotland were published in June 2006. This is an annual publication, containing a list of settlements and their estimated population for mid-2004 produced by the National Records of Scotland (NRS). A settlement is defined as a contiguous group of high density postcodes with a population of 500 or more.

As a result of the work done to produce the Mid-2004 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland (also published today on this website), it was necessary to make some adjustments to the mid-2004 population estimates for settlements.

It was found that the population of some settlements had been overestimated due to the inclusion of people living in post codes that had been incorrectly identified as part of the settlement. Adjustments, ranging from 10 to 70, have been made to the population estimates of 49 settlements. One settlement (Moniaive) no longer meets the minimum population threshold of 500 people and has been removed from the list. The settlement populations that have been adjusted are highlighted in the accompanying tables.


In the years between censuses, NRS maintains data on unit postcodes including a boundary enclosing all of the addresses assigned to that postcode. These postcoded areas are used as 'building bricks' in the definition of settlements.

NRS’s Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) together with information from the Royal Mail Postcode Address File was used to classify unit postcodes in 2004 as high density or low density. A postcode was defined as high density if one or more of the following three threshold conditions were met:

  • The number of residential addresses per hectare exceeded 2.1
  • The estimate of population per hectare exceeded 5
  • The number of non-residential addresses per hectare exceeded 0.1

Once the postcodes were defined as high or low density, the population estimates in contiguous postcodes were joined together – where the population was 500 or more, the area was defined as a settlement.

The population estimate for each settlement has been rounded to the nearest 10. For the small number of settlements which crossed local authority boundaries, the population estimate for each part of the settlement was also rounded to the nearest 10. As a result, the overall population figure for some of these settlements does not exactly equal the sum of its constituent parts.

Background notes

1.      NRS breaks down the larger settlements into smaller localities and publishes population estimates for these areas. Mid-2004 population estimates for localities within settlements will be published later in 2006. In most cases, a settlement is exactly equivalent to the locality of the same name. However, where settlements consist of two or more localities, the settlement is suffixed by the words 'Settlement of'. Mid-2003 population estimates for localities are available at Mid-2003 Population Estimates for Localities in Scotland.

2.      It is recommended that users exercise caution when comparing the 2004 settlement 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 by a low density postcode (and vice versa for a population decrease).  

3.      The sum of the settlement population estimates will not add up to the 2004 mid-year estimates, as population outwith settlements will not be counted.

List of Tables

The tables below provide updated mid-2004 estimates for settlements. Table 1 lists these settlements in alphabetical order and also lists the council area(s) in which each settlement is located. Table 2 lists the settlements in descending order of population size.

The files below have been made available as Excel spreadsheets and can be viewed in Comma Separated Value (CSV) or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).

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Note: On 27 July 2007 the Mid-year population estimates for 2003-2006 were revised for the six Council areas of Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Moray and Perth & Kinross. However, the statistics on this page were produced using unrevised population estimates. Revised statistics will be placed on this web page once they become available. More details on the Revised Mid-year Population Estimates 2003-2006 are available from this website.


Table 1
Settlements in alphabetical order
(Excel    CSV    PDF)
Table 2
Settlements in descending order of size
(Excel    CSV    PDF)

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