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Population Change in Scotland Essay Sample

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Population Change in Scotland Essay Sample

What can be said about population change in local government areas in Scotland and the change in age structure for 2000-2010.

In the first part of this assessment I will describe the information provided on the chrorpleth map and a graph by the General Register Office of Scotland to help define the change in population in Scotland also the change in the age structure in Scotland between the years 2000 and 2010. Using figure 1 the chronopleth map I will define some of the main patterns and variations of population change which can be seen on the map. Figure 2 will be used to describe the variations in the changing age structure from 2000-2010.

Figure 1 shows a clear distinction in population change from 2000-2010. In places like the Highlands, Orkney Islands, Stirling, Fife, and the Scottish boarders the map shows that the population change is 4% to less than 8%. Aberdeenshire, Perth & Kinross, Edinburgh city, west & East Lothian have the biggest population change at 8% over 10 years. Aberdeen city, Moray, Shetland, Midlothian, Glasgow and the surrounding areas along with Dumfries & Galloway show a change in population at 0% to less than 4%. Leaving the smallest population change in Dundee the West Coast and the Western Isles at less than 0% of a population change. This information also shows that out of Scotland’s 4 biggest cities 3 of them are showing a population change of less than 4%. The map shows that there is a higher population change in the highlands and the north east compared to the west coast this could be seen as positive growth because of the opportunities given by Aberdeen based oil companies and easy access to the offshore industry may have caused the population increase of over 8% over 10 years in these areas.

Figure 2 shows the changing age structure of Scotland’s population between 2000 and 2010, It shows that the age group 0-15 years shows a decrease in population of 7.4% because in 2000 there was a population of 984,763 people compared to 2010 when there was only 911,794 people in this age group. Age group 16-29 shows an increase of 8.5% going from 829,149 to 975,384 people. Ages 30-44 shows a decrease of almost 11% starting with 1161,095 people in 2000 and dropping to 1035,794 people this is the biggest decrease shown on the graph. Age group 45-59 has one of the biggest population increase as it goes up by almost 12% going from 962,212 people in 2000 to 1092,147 people on 2010. Group 60-74 also shows an increase in age population by 11.6% going from 708,448 to 801,346 people in 2010. 75’s and over has the biggest increase in population going from 354,273 to 405,635 giving it almost a 13% increase. The graph shows that the 3 groups with the highest rise in population are the older aged groups at 45 and over. It is clear from looking at the graph that people are living longer in Scotland. Figures for 1980 give life expectancy of 69 and 75 years for men and women respectively for 2008 the figures now stand at 75.3 and 80.0 years respectively (Scottish Government, 2010) Taking all of the age groups in to account it shows that there has been an overall increase in population by over 3% since 2000.

Word count 556

Examine the argument that the rural- urban divide is overstated.

The second part of the assessment i will be attempting to examine the argument that the rural-urban divide is overstated, i will take in to account the drug fear for youngsters in rural areas mainly by using the article on drug use in Dumfries and Galloway. I will be looking at how identities of places are constructed and reconstructed. I will also try to identify the ways in which the rural is connected and how it relates to the urban.

Urbanisation first occurred in more economically developed countries during the industrial revolution. People were attracted to urban areas (pulled) from rural areas to work in factories. They were also pushed as developments in technology led to mechanisation on farms. (internet geography). In Britain alone there was a 40% rise of population in what are now deemed as major cities (making social lives). With the influx of people in to cities from the countryside they had to make changes to their way of life, they traded the freedom, fresh air and in some respects the privacy of the countryside for city living which included living closer to other people, for the first time having to deal with living and moving around strangers and crowds. There were new religions to encounter along with different dialects and languages to be herd (Hinchliffe, 2009). City homes were described as dirty, rough and smelly with pools of sewage in them.

Steve Hinchcliffe states that the shock and experience of urbanisation could be described as a loss of place. The shock and the upheaval of becoming urban, has given some social scientists the understanding that urbanisation is one in a long line of social changes in which peoples place in life becomes less and less. It has also been said that rural life may not be as good as what it first seems. The people who stayed in the countryside instead of following the crowds in to the city left mainly land owners or farmers, who kept the fresh air of the countryside and instead of battling the crowds and dirtiness of the city they battled with the elements according to William Corbett a 19th century writer. Corbett was also appalled by the living conditions he describes them to that of a pig.

It makes sense that with the population of cities increasing as does the development of cities and the rural areas, part 1 of the assessment confirms that. With for example Aberdeenshire shows an increase in population with double or more than in the city. It would seem that nowadays people are moving back in to more rural areas. It is obviously easier now than in the 19th century to commute from home (rural) to work (urban). They get the best of both worlds.

As small rural villages or towns are growing there are more schools, houses and people, but job opportunities are few and far between. While education and training are often regarded as important routes out of unemployment, these routes tend not to be so important or available in rural area, the lack of incentive to embark on education or training routes may leave rural youth in a permanent cycle of intermittent short-term jobs intersperse with spells of unemployment Young people’s experience of unemployment in rural areas involved isolation, boredom and hardship. Many felt so cut-off from employment opportunities that they had little chance of gaining work. (JFR.org)

Drugs are another fear for people living in rural areas. People may think that it’s safer to live out with the hustle and bustle of the city but rural areas are maybe not quite as bad as the city centre but the number of drug addicts are rising in the rural area of Dumfries and Galloway as it has the highest drugs misuse problem out of the other predominantly rural areas in Scotland. In fact the number of addicts in the highlands has came down but the number of people getting treatment for their addiction has gone up, This indicated that they are starting to address the problem and they are trying to get it sorted, Which can’t be said for other rural areas in Britain. Drug and alcohol issues In many rural areas these are hidden problems, with little acknowledgement of their existence. (nacro.org)

The drug problem in Dumfries and Galloway is not necessarily going to be restricted to that one place. Mike McClurg (the chair of alcohol and drug support south west and Scotland) states that this increase of drug abusers is a big problem in such a rural area also he implies that the drugs would be accessible to anyone who wanted them, and the dealers are more than likely to get them across the region. Dumfries and Galloway is the perfect spot for the suppliers to deliver to as the main motorway between boarders runs through the area and there is the means to transport it overseas to Northern Ireland by ferry like in November 2012 there was a drug bust of an estimated £2.5m worth of cannabis. (bbc.co.uk)

According to Ricky who was a drug abuser since the age of 12 and a heroin addict for 8 years, the climbing rate of abusers in rural areas is down to boredom and having nothing to do. Ricky said it was easy to get a hold of the drugs. His own mother introduced him to cannabis. McClurg thinks that peer pressure has got a lot to do with taking drugs but Ricky that it was boredom and that other people had nothing to do with it. Surely to help the boredom situation the council should be taking action such as providing means of entertainment facilities for the rural youngsters to participate in, like a health club, cinema, bowling or even just a club where they can hang out a few times a week.

In conclusion what is apparent is that there was somewhat of a divide between rural and urban areas at the time of the industrial revolution as they led totally different and separate lives. Nowadays though with the rural areas becoming more populated and commuting to and from the city centre easily there seems to be less of a divide. Look at the drug problem yes the city is bad for drugs but it seems that the smaller communities have that same problem they just seem to ignore it.


http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/topics/urban.html accessed on 03/01/2013

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/11/24111237/5 accessed on 02/01/2013

http://www.jrf.org.uk/system/files/1859351271pdf accessed on 05/01/2013

http://www.nacro.org.uk/data/files/nacro-2004120283-123.pdf accessed on 03/01/2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-20492437 accessed on 06/01/2013

Hinchliffe,S (2009) ‘connecting people and places’ in Taylor, S., Hinchliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S. (eds) Making Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

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