1951 – The first census in 20 years

Due to World War Two (WWII) there had been an interval of twenty years since the previous census in Scotland; a period which had seen significant legislative and social changes across the country.

For the 1951 census, almost all the questions that had been asked in the 1921 and 1931 Censuses were included again, plus new questions to identify full and part-time employment and the age at which full-time education was completed. New questions about the exclusive or shared use of household amenities were also included in an attempt to assess and improve the quality of post-war housing.

During the post-WWII baby boom, the 1951 Census showed that the largest age group was that of 0-4 year old children. By 2001 Scotland’s population was living longer than ever before: the number of over 85s had more than doubled, whilst the number of 0-4 yr olds had almost halved. The population of Scotland is expected to carry on ageing. GROS estimates that by 2031 the number of children under 16 will decrease by 7%, but the number of people over 60 will increase by 54%.

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