Scotland SCOTLAND

A vibrant, naturally gorgeous country with a wide array of cultures and rich heritage, Scotland shares a land border to the south with England and is one of the four constituent countries of the UK. Besides the mainland of the country, Scotland also consists of over 790 islands within its territory.

The official language of Scotland is English; however, Scots-Gaelic is also spoken primarily in the Highlands and the Scottish Islands and the Scots language (similar to English, French and Gaelic dialects) is spoken in the Lowlands.

In the 2005 census, it was recorded that there are currently about 5,094,800 people residing in the country. The total minority ethnic population is about 100,000, which has increased by 62.3% over the course of the last decade. The largest non-white group in Scotland is people of Pakistani origins, with 31,793 (0.63%) Pakistani descendants residing throughout the country; the second largest non-white group in the country are those of Chinese descent at 0.3%.

In terms of religion, 65% of the Scottish population were recorded as Christians, 28% claimed no religion, and – although being recorded as the second largest religious group – the Muslim religion accounted for less than 1% of the Scottish population. Also noted was that Muslims living in Scotland have the youngest age profile of any other religion in the country – 31% of those who practised Islam were age 16 years or younger. Almost half of the 6,400 Jewish residents of Scotland live in the district of East Renfrewshire.

The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh, the second largest city in the country and one of the biggest financial centres in Europe. The largest city in Scotland is Glasgow, which houses approximately 40% of the Scottish population. The Flag of Scotland, the oldest national flag that is still representative of a country, is known for having the Saltire (or St. Andrew’s Cross), a design that is said to date back to the 9th century. 

The city of Edinburgh, built on cliffs and crags, was the focus of an age of Scottish brilliance in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This movement produced such philosophers as David Hume and Francis Hutcheson, whose beliefs and ideas focused largely upon intellectual and economic principles. Glasgow was initially established as a prominent transatlantic trading port during the Victorian Era, and is now the second most popular destination for foreign visitors in Scotland (after Edinburgh). In contemporary times, Glasgow is home to many of Scotland’s leading corporations, and is one of Europe’s Top 16 financial centres. 

The castles, palaces, ancient streets and art galleries of Scotland are all major tourist attractions. The four ancient universities are located in the cities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews, all of which were founded during the mediaeval period. These prestigious institutes of higher education attract a large number of foreign and international students.

The legal system in Scotland is separate from the systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, meaning that Scotland has a detached jurisdiction in public and private international law and is independent. The independence of Scots law, the Scottish education system and the Church of Scotland have all contributed to the continuation of related Scottish culture and national identity. Regardless, Scotland is not a sovereign state and is not directly a member of either the United Nations or the European Union.

In terms of culture, the Scottish music scene is quite a significant aspect of the country’s culture, both in a traditional and contemporary sense. The most commonly recognised symbol of Scottish music would be the Great Highland bagpipe; the Clarsach, fiddle and accordion are also time-honoured instruments that are often featured in traditional Scottish dance bands. The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), a university located in Glasgow, was founded in 1845 and has had several notable alumni, such as actors and musicians, enrolled.

Scotland’s sport history is as culturally renowned as its music. The Scottish Football Association is the second oldest national football association in history, and the league has their own representation independent of the UK at such global sporting events as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and the Commonwealth Games. Scotland is also famous for originating the game of golf, with the town of its invention, St. Andrews in Fife, is regarded across the world as “The Home of Golf”. There are many famous golf courses throughout the country, including the ancient course at St. Andrews that dates back to the 16th century, as well as Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield and Royal Troon.  

Culturally speaking, Scotland can boast when it comes to folk art, literature and festivals. Encompassing all of these cultural facets is the annual Edinburgh International Festival - one the world's leading arts events. This is the largest festival in all of Britain and a must if you are interested in seeing fringe theatre, music and poetry being performed to audiences from all over the world. Throughout the year there are many other less famous, but equally enjoyable festivals presented within the country.

Travel in Scotland is conducted mostly through its airports, rail services, and motorways. The four international airports – at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick and Aberdeen – have scheduled and chartered flights to European and global destinations through Scottish-based airlines Loganair (a franchise of British Airways), Air Scotland and ScotAirways. The rail network of Scotland is now independently managed from the UK, as of 2005. The East Coast and West Coast Main Railway lines and the Cross Country Line connect major Scottish cities and towns with the English rail network, while First ScotRail operates trains and rail services all throughout Scotland. The Scottish Executive has pursued a policy of building new railway lines that includes routes to destinations in England that include First ScotRail and Virgin Trains.

Ferry services also run between the mainland and the islands of the country, principally run by operator Caledonian MacBrayne. Other companies also run connections from Scotland to Northern Ireland, Belgium, Norway, and Iceland. 


SCOTLAND: ETHNIC PROFILE

Out of every 1,000 people (on average):
 880 are White Scottish
 74 are White (non-Scottish) British  
 25 are from other white groups, including Irish 
 11 are Asian 
 3 are of Mixed Race 
 3 are Chinese
2 are Black
Source: Office for National Statistics

In the 2001 census, it was estimated that 3.3% of residents of Scotland were born in a foreign country, although nearly 98% of the country’s residents were white. Regardless, the number of foreign-born inhabitants is increasing faster than those residing in England or Wales.

In Scotland, the ethnic group classifications that are used to carry out the census in Scotland is slightly different from the census methods used in England and Wales, in the sense that white Scottish residents and other white British residents from England and Wales are calculated separately. Other white British residents make up the largest ethnic group in the country at 7.4% of the population (one in fourteen people). There are significant differences from regions, such as Edinburgh (where 11.4% of the residents are from the Other White British grouping) and Glasgow (where only 3.6% of the residents are Other White British).

It is estimated that 32,000 people from Eastern Europe migrated to Scotland, and 20,000 of these immigrants were of Polish descent. In this sense, the White Other group is made up of about 78,000 people in all of Scotland that includes those of American origin and Dutch origin. Also, due to Scotland being so close to Ireland, there is quite a large Irish and Northern Irish population that makes up about 50,000 people (as of the 2001 census).  

The next largest ethnic minority group in Scotland after Other White British is the Asian community. However, residents of Asian descent only form slightly over 1% of the entire Scottish population (about 55,000 people); mostly there are higher populations in urban areas. Certain regions in the city of Glasgow, such as Pollokshields, have large Pakistani populations that make up about 40% of the city’s population (15,000 residents). Dissimilar to England, where most Asian residents are of Indian descent, Scotland has a higher amount of Pakistani residents by a 2:1 ratio.

There are not many black residents in Scotland; the most recent figure was recorded as 0.2% of the population (8,000 residents), and black Caribbeans are outnumbered by black African residents by nearly a 3:1 ratio. There are also twice as many Chinese residents as there are black residents – those of Chinese origin make up 0.3% of the country’s population. 


 POPULATION BY ETHNIC GROUPS
Total Scotland Population: 5,062,011

Ethnic group/sub-groupPopulationProportion of all residents
White 4,960,33497.9%
 Scottish4,459,07188.0%
 Other White British373,6857.38%
 White Irish49,4280.97%
 Other78,1501.54%
Asian 55,0071.08%
 Indian15,0370.29%
 Pakistani31,7930.62%
 Bangladeshi1,9810.03%
 Other South Asian6,1960.12%
Mixed 12,7640.25%
    
Black 8,0250.15%
 Caribbean1,7780.03%
 African5,1180.10%
 Black Scottish or Other Black1,1290.02%
Chinese 16,3100.32%
    
Other ethnic group 9,5710.18%

Source: Census 2001, Office for National Statistics

 

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