Data busts myths about Scotland
Rich source of information paints a true picture of the nation.
Scotland’s census has provided us with a rigorous and reliable source of evidence about Scotland’s people which helps to explode some popular myths.
Speaking at a conference promoting uses of the census, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that the evidence helps us to see the true picture of Scotland.
Evidence from the National Records of Scotland, including the census, shows that:
- Scotland’s overall dependency ratio – the number of working age people compared to the number of dependents – is actually lower than the rest of the UK.
- More than half the increase in Scotland’s population comes from the rest of the UK – with only 13 per cent coming from abroad.
- Although there were 178 different languages spoken in Scotland, just 1.5 per cent of people born outside the UK did not speak English.
- More people come from different countries than ever before – but 83 per cent of us feel Scottish.
Ms Hyslop said:
“Our government has always been clear how much we value high quality, independent evidence such as the census. It is a rich seam of valuable information that tells us more about Scotland’s people, in more detail, then we have ever known before.
“The census is a valuable tool in tackling some of the alarmist myths about Scotland, and shows us a real picture of the people who make up our nation.
“If we did not have high quality evidence, we might, for example, believe the myth that Scotland is in a much worse position in terms of an ageing population than the rest of the UK and that it will only get worse. But the evidence shows Scotland’s overall dependency ratio – the number of working age people compared to the number of dependents – is lower than for the rest of the UK.
“If we did not collect information on migration, we might believe the myth that the population of Scotland is growing merely as a result of people coming here from abroad – for the tenth year in a row more people have chosen to come and live and work in Scotland from the rest of the UK and overseas than have left to go in the opposite direction.
“But the figures from the National Records of Scotland 2012-13 show that more than half of the increase in the Scottish population came from people choosing to come to Scotland from the rest of the UK with only 13 per cent coming from abroad and of course in Scotland we value their contribution to our economy and society.
“Another myth the census explodes is that people come to Scotland from elsewhere in the world not speaking English and not interested in integrating into our society. The 2011 census shows us that even though there were 178 languages recorded in Scotland, only 1.5 per cent of people born outside the UK had no skills in English.
“And although more people come from different countries than ever before, 83 per cent of us feel we have some sort of Scottish identity.”
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