Population Change in Scotland

Part 1- using the data in figure 1 and 2 provided I am going to talk about population change by local government area in Scotland for 2000-2010 and also the change in age structure of the Scottish population for 2010-2010.

Figure 1 (assignment booklet, p20) shows that the East of Scotland has a high percentage of population change as you can see from the map the darker areas have the highest population change and the darker areas all appear to be in the East of Scotland. However in the small islands on the outskirts of Western Scotland it appears that there is negative growth or a possible decline in population, this indicates that people might not want to live there or there hasn??™t been a lot of reproduction on these islands. But when you look at North Scotland it appears that there is a steady increase of population ranging from 4 to 8%. So it appears that the Highlands population has had an average growth of around 6% between the years 2000-2010. Then when you look at Southern Scotland and small numbered areas there has been a small percentage increase between 2000-2010 this ranges from 0-4% so here you can see a slow population increase in the years 2000-2010.

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Figure 2 (assignment booklet, p21) shows that; in Scotland 2010 less children have been born/produced than in the year 2000. As the number of 0-15year olds in Scotland 2010 was down 7% from the year 2000. But when you look at the age group 75+ it appears there is a 14% increase in population in the year 2010 compared to the year 2000 so it appears that people are living longer. There could be a range of reasons for this perhaps less alcohol consumption or drug related incidents, also over this period of time the NHS has got better and medicine has been improved over the last 10 years. According to figure 2 pictured above in Scotland as a whole there is a total of 32% increase in population in a decade between the years 2000-2010. The choropleth map shows a decrease in population of people aged 30-44 (middle aged people) in 2010, however there was an increase people aged 45-59 in 2010 compared to the year 2000. So it appears that there are a lot more people age 45 and over in Scotland in the year 2010 compared to the year 2000, so it seems people are living longer and don??™t seem to be having as many children in 2010 compared to that of 2000, there could be a range of reasons for this perhaps people who want to be parents can??™t afford to do so or maybe not as much financial help available in 2010 compared to that in 2000.

Part 2- Examine the argument the rural-urban divide is often overstated, based on my reading of ???connected lives??™ and the article ???Drugs fears for rural youngsters.??™

???Urbanisation is a loss of place. Urbanisation is one in a long line of social changes.??™ (Hinchcliffe, 2009, p.213.) This quote states that urbanisation is a sense of change for the greater good although it can have some negative impacts, the author says ???it??™s ???a loss of place??™ personally I think this is an overstatement as over time things do change and yes it can be good a thing but sometimes it isn??™t. As we know things are always changing (e.g.: population is increasing, cities becoming more crowded, rural/urban areas become more secluded.) but there are benefits to this rural/ urban areas are quieter and in a lot more cases safer than a town centre, small local shops get more business in a rural/urban area as there is less choice than a big busy town centre. So yes the rural-urban divide is overstated as anywhere you go there are divisions.

???The main motorway into Scotland from England runs through Dumfries and Galloway and the ferry from Northern Ireland lands at Stranraer, meaning anyone transporting drugs through Scotland is likely to cross the region.??™ (Brocklehurst, S., 2005, online.) This shows it doesn??™t matter if you live in a rural-urban area or a city centre, drugs are easily accessible and there are many ways if you really want to get hold of them to be able to do so, rural-urban areas are just as easily accessible as a city centre, so there isn??™t really a rural-urban divide, although according to the article ???Drug fears for rural youngsters.??™ 2.43% of Dumfies and Galloway residents suffer with drug problems/addictions which is a very high percentage however in Glasgow City 3.31% of its residents have drug problems/ addictions which is slightly higher than the rural-urban area Dumfies and Galloway, but it shows there isn??™t much difference in drug problems wherever you are in Scotland.

???Rural places are open to influences from near and far. They are not simply the product of local generations of farming families for years.??™ (Hinchcliffe, 2009, p.228.) This shows that, rural-urban areas change over time just like a city centre would and also things that affect these changes can come from near or far, it isn??™t just the people and families that live in the area that make these changes occur. So there isn??™t really an urban-rural divide as these things happen in all places not just rural-urban areas. It is just other people??™s perception that there is a rural-urban divide when really a rural-urban area is not much different to a city centre.

???The general idea of urban areas relates to a town or city that is free-standing, densely occupied and developed with a variety of shops and services. Furthermore, a culture of impersonal and anonymous relationships has been used to describe urban populations. The concept of ???rural??™ is more complex and multidimensional. One problem lies in capturing the diversity of types of rural areas that exist. These can, for example, range from small settlements on the fringe of large towns and cities to remote villages and hamlets and from ???green belt??™ agriculture to areas of extensive arable farming or grazing. Another complication lies in the economic and social changes that have taken place in rural areas which create interrelationships with urban areas and cultures. For example, there has been an increase in commuting, especially of the urban work force choosing to reside in rural areas. Nevertheless, rural areas are characterized by a more personal and intimate web of social relationships.??™ (Gelan, A. et, the urban-rural divide, online.) This shows the general perception of a rural-urban area and what divides it and makes it different from other areas, bearing in mind this in only a perception, and that in reality a rural-urban area is different to a city in some ways but overall there is not a large division and people tend to ???overstate??™ the division.

???Urbanisation involved more than a physical change in the population and where it lived, it also referred to the subtle and sometimes momentous changes in the ways in which people lived their lives.??™ (Hinchcliffe, 2009, p.212.) This quote shows that urbanisation is not just a physical change (e.g. population increase/ decrease.) but is also the change in how people live (e.g. more water use, where and what people buy from shops.) however these changes happen everywhere (e.g. cities tend to become more crowded and people have a choice where they do their shopping.)

Overall reading through the article and textbook I feel that the divide which is perceived has been overstated as things do change over time but this doesn??™t just happen in cities it happens in rural-urban areas, and the reasons for these changes are very similar.

Word count 1295 words.


Brocklehurst, S.. 2005. Drug fears for rural youngsters. [ONLINE] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4241696.stm. [Accessed 05 January 13]

Gelan, A., Gilbert, A., Scott, A.,. 2007. The Urban-Rural Divide: Myth or Reality. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.macaulay.ac.uk/economics/research/SERPpb2.pdf. [Accessed 05 January 13].

Hinchcliffe, S. (2009) ???connecting people and places??™ in Taylor, S., Hinchcliffe, S., Clarke, J., and Bromley, S. (eds) Making social lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

National Records of Scotland (2011). changing age structure of Scotland??™s population 2000-2010 [online]. Available from: . [Accessed 30/12/2012].

National Records of Scotland (2011). Percentage change in population 2000-2010 [online]. Available from: . [Accessed 30/12/2012].

Self reflection

I find the feedback from my tutor very useful as before I didn??™t really proof-read my assignments, but now I have learnt to do so and tend to reference more quotes into my writing as I??™ve learnt to get the marks I need to reference everything I say.

(Figure 1 Percentage change in population, council areas 2000-2010)

(Figure 2, changing age structure of Scotland??™s population 2000-2010.)

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