A Typology of Scottish Coastal Towns and Communities

This study investigated the similarities and differences in population, social and economic characteristics of 149 Scottish coastal towns using the 2011 census. The study also investigated how the size of population, age and diversity of people living in these towns changed over time from 2001 to 2011.

GIS Data Download

Please click on the file icons below to download the relevant ArcGIS data files for the Scottish Coastal Typology. Background information on metadata for the typology layers and methods are also available below

Acknowledgement: when using these files please cite the relevant reference to acknowledge the source of data

Filename Format Filesize Click to Download
Scottish_Coastal_Typology_FinalLevel_All ESRI ArcGIS lpk 17kb link
Scottish_Coastal_Typology_Level1 ESRI ArcGIS lpk 16kb link
Cluster1_ MilitaryFamilies ESRI ArcGIS lpk 7kb link
Cluster2_ FishingandPortTowns ESRI ArcGIS lpk 10kb link
Cluster3_ IndustrialRoots ESRI ArcGIS lpk 9kb link
Cluster4_HistoricUniversityTown ESRI ArcGIS lpk 7kb link
Cluster5_LinkedLaterlife ESRI ArcGIS lpk 10kb link
Typology_AttributeTable ESRIC ArcGIS Map package 213kb link

Last Updated: 16/12/2019

These datalayers will also be available to view interactively in the online Marine Scotland MAP National Marine Plan information system.

Descriptions and Graphics of Typology Layers

Map Output Cluster Group Description
Military Families (n=2) E.g. Leuchars and Garelochead This cluster represents just 2 coastal localities that are dominated by defence employment and related SocGrade2. This is evidence of their proximity to military bases which is evident in commuting variables where they are highest in work within 10km. Full time employment is high with indicators relating to economically inactive as well as characterised as low for deprivation. Highest for middle range qualifications (level 1+3) are expected here. Below average number of people employed in unskilled or manual jobs, with higher working aged between 16 and 44. There are high amounts of couples with children and private rented housing, which would be in line with families employed in defence and high proportions of ‘multi-households other’ that reflects barrack accommodation.
Peripheral Fishing and Port Towns (n=53) e.g. Stornoway, Lerwick, Nairn, Oban, Anstruther and Fort William These places have been characterised with higher employment in fishing/water and construction SICs than the coastal average. Part time and self-employment are above coastal average perhaps reflecting the artisan fishing and smaller fleets that occupy these harbour towns. This is consistent with high SOC grade3 that indicates skilled trade. There is evidence of deprivation with higher than coastal average scores for deprived in 2 dimensions at household level. The population is ageing with more ‘one person households’ than found elsewhere.
Industrial Roots (n=40) e.g. Clydebank, Greenock, Dumbarton, Leven, Grangemouth, Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy The localities in this cluster show higher than coastal average for employment in manufacturing, retail, wholesale, transport and admin. It has the highest cluster centres above coastal average for all economically inactive variables. The group has the highest deprivation, low qualification obtainment, and social rented housing is highest across all clusters. These populations are one of the few characterised by higher than average children (0-15), one parent families and poor health. This cluster however shows that these places are well served by public transport, which is the dominant means of commuting to work, with highest travel to study within 10km and above coastal average for those working within 10km.
Historic University Town (n=1) e.g. St Andrews This town has been characterised by high levels of accommodation/food services and education industry employment. Low levels of fulltime employment, unemployment and LTS. There is a high population of students (and ages 16-24), and related SOC grade 1, high qualification profile, low deprivation. There are low numbers of over 45’s and fewer families than in other clusters. Private rented dominates the housing sector.
Linked Later-life Localities (n=53) e.g. Aberdour North Berwick, Gullan, Largs, Limekilns, Wormit and Wemyss Bay The employment in these settlements is characterised by a higher representation in information, communication, real estate, finance industries SICs sectors and low levels of deprivation. There is a predominately older age profile in these settlements with bandings over 45’s showing highest here with many couples with no children, and owned housing and unpaid carers. There is highest car ownership in this cluster group.

Table 2: Peripheral Fishing and Port towns: Data-driven descriptions for the Level 2 sub-groups

Figure Source: (Duffy and Stojanovic, 2018)

Data Source: National Records of Scotland; 2011 Scottish Census aggregate data; https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/data-warehouse.html#standarddatatab

Map Output Sub-group Description
2a. Isolated decline, Homogenous Ageing (n=26) Population decline and an ageing population over 65 define this group. This has particularly resulted in the loss of working aged adults aged 25-44. This group has low levels of ethnic diversity, with lower than coastal average for all groups except White Scottish and White British. There is little evidence of increase amongst ethnic identities over time. Similarly, this group has higher than coastal averages for the percentage of people born elsewhere in the UK. This group is isolated with travel time of 1 hour and 46 mins from a city
2b. Isolated Diverse (n=5) This group has experienced the 2nd highest rate of population decline, over the period 2001 to 2011 at -3.75% overall. Overall, this represents one of the more religiously diverse groups as they are higher than CA for all religions except Catholicism in 2011. There is also evidence of ethnic diversity in this group, where in 2011 they has high representation of the Asian ethnic groups. Caribbean and the highest proportion of ‘White other’. Higher than the overall coastal rates of increase for the same groups. Indicating diversity relative to the coastal context. This group is isolated with travel time of 1 hour and 55 mins from a city.
2c. Growing, Very Isolated White (n=22) Family household structures and a growing population with slow decline in children (0-15) distinguish this group. High levels of home ownership. This group has been characterised by an increase in Catholics that is the highest across these coastal localities for 2001 to 2011. This group has a lower proportion of all non-white ethnic identities with the exception of ‘Asian other’. The group has also experienced an increase in White: British, Irish and Other. This is further evidenced increasing proportion of those born elsewhere in the UK during the same period. These places are very isolated with an average journey time to a city at nearing 4 hours (238 min).

Table 6.4 Industrial Roots: Data-driven descriptions for the Level 2 sub-groups

Figure Source: (Duffy and Stojanovic, 2018)

Data Source: National Records of Scotland; 2011 Scottish Census aggregate data; https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/data-warehouse.html#standarddatatab

Map Output Sub-group Description
3a. Homogeneous Scottish (n=13) When considering the religious affiliation for this group, it must be noted that the across the coast there is the highest percentage of people who identify as having no religion at 41.44% and this has increased at the fastest rate here compared across the coast. There is low religious diversity. This group is higher than CA for Catholic; however, this has been declining from 2001 to 2011. In this group, there are more people idenitfying as White Scottish or born in Scotland than the coastal average, and the decline (rate of change) is notably lower than the coastal average and slowest across the coast for White Scottish. There percentage of all other ethnic group and in particular for White British and White Other. This is also apparent in the low percentage of people born outside of Scotland and the decline in the proportion of those born elsewhere in the UK.
3b. Diversifying Scottish Pre-retirement (n=18) The defining characteristic of the population change is the increasing proportion of later working life 45-64 in this group. This represents the Baby Boomers (born 1947 – 1966) transitioning into this age group in this period. The Religious Affiliation of these places are characterised by the highest percentage of Catholics across the coast at 21.29% and the stable nature of this religious group from 2001 to 2011. However, they also host the highest percentage of Muslim and Sikh populations and this increasing higher than CA from 2001 to 2011. In 2011, these places had the highest proportion of White Scottish ethnic identity (92.09%) and those born in Scotland (91.22%) observed across the coast, and the lowest White British. This is also apparent in the low percentage of people born outside of Scotland. However, from 2001 to 2011 there has been some evidence of ethnic diversification taking place as this highest increase in the proportion of Pakistani and Caribbean Groups with the percentage change of many other ethnic groups also above the CA. These places are only moderately isolated with the average journey time of just over 33 minutes to a city of over 100,000 people.
3c. Diversifying and Isolated (n=9) These places have experienced a greater rate of decline than CA for Young Adults (16-24). This group’s religious affiliation are characterised by low proportions of catholic and high levels of ‘no religion’, but is diversifying. The ethnic identity of this group is notably high for White Other at 4.43% and Low for White Irish and Black groups (Caribbean, African and Black Scottish or Black Other). There is moderate diversification from 2001 to 2011 with greater decline in the majority group White Scottish than CA. Increases in the proportion of White Other, Bangladeshi, Indian and Asian Other are higher than CA. These places can be characterised with a higher % than CA for those born outside the UK at 6.45% and the 2nd highest rate of change towards this. This group is isolated with travel times of over 90 minutes to a city.

Table 6.5 Linked Later-life Localities: Data-driven descriptions for the Level 2 sub-groups

Figure Source: (Duffy and Stojanovic, 2018)

Data Source: National Records of Scotland; 2011 Scottish Census aggregate data; https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/data-warehouse.html#standarddatatab

Map Output Sub-group Description
5a. Least Isolated, Ethnically Diversifying, Families (n=2) This group has a growing population at 8.42% over double that of the coastal average. Family household structure with SOC 3 and 4 prevalent, high levels of home ownership. This group is defined by an increasing proportion of children 0-15 (1.5%) and a slower decline for adults 16-44 than the coastal average. The group is the least religious with 53% answering no religion and a further 5% providing no answer. The diversity and diversification evident in the ethnicity of highest or 2nd highest rate of ethnic minority groups across the coast with higher rates of change in this group from 2001 -2011.This group also represents the highest proportional decline of White British for the same period. The group is the least isolated, with an average travel time of 16 minutes to city.
5b. Less Diverse Ageing (n=38) This group has the most stable overall population size, with population growth recorded at only 0.81% in 10 years. However, this is an ageing population with the highest rate of decline for 24-44 can be found in these places and high 45-64 and highest increase of 65+ across the coast at 3.19. These places are less diverse than the coastal average considering ethnic diversity. This is the case for all ethnic groups except White British and White Irish, and there has been no change in White British over the last ten years for group 5b. There is little evidence of diversification over time as the slowest increase of those born outside the UK across the coast.
5c. Scottish Pre-retirement (n=10) This group has a high rate of ageing over 65 and the highest increase in the proportion of 45-64 later working life across the coast. These are the least deprived localities. There is an indication of a decline in young families with a decrease of -1.93% for those in their early working life 24-44 years and -1.57% for children 0-15 years and low number of households recorded as couples with children. Ethnically this group is high for White Scottish and Low for other white groups in 2011. The rate of decline for White Scottish is distinctly slower than the coastal average. Overall there is a low ethnic diversity in these places, but a higher than coastal average for Indian and Pakistani groups. This group has the lowest proportion of people born outside the UK. Across the indicators, there is a slow rate of change towards diversity. The group average travel time shows that these places are only moderately isolated with around 30 minutes to a city, with high levels of commuting over 10km to work and study.
5d. Very Isolated, White Families (n=3) This group is characterised by an increasing proportion of children (+1.11%) from 2001 to 2011, and much slower decrease in 24-44 years suggesting family structures emerging over this time. There is a stable older population over 65 and later working life shows slow increase than of +0.52% from 2001 to 2011 compared to the coastal average of +3.05%. The group is defined by a high percentage of White British and White Other populations, and complimentary to this there is high levels of people born elsewhere in UK (18.37%) which has been increasing over time. This group is very isolated with over 2 hours to a city.

Table 6.6 Outlying clusters of Military families and Historic University town: Data-driven descriptions for the Level 2 sub-groups

Figure Source: (Duffy and Stojanovic, 2018)

Data Source: National Records of Scotland; 2011 Scottish Census aggregate data; https://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/data-warehouse.html#standarddatatab

Map Output Sub-group Description
1a. Least Isolated, Homogenising, Declining population (n=1) E.g. Leuchars This group is characterised by a declining population, family households with increasing levels of young adults (16-24 years) and slower ageing than coastal average. This group is characterised by high levels of White British and White Irish and increasing proportion of those born elsewhere in the UK. There is high employment, particularly in defence. It is also a place with low levels of non-white ethnic groups in 2011; With notably 0.00% for Bangladeshi, Caribbean and ‘Black Scottish or Black other’. This in a result of the fastest decline in the non-white groups over the previous 10 years across sub-groups. There are low levels of deprivation. This place is the least isolated place with a journey time at just 15 minutes to a city of >100,000 in population.
1b. Growing population, Homogenising White British (n=1) e.g. Garelochead This group is characterised by the highest overall increase in population. There is also an increased proportion of population from 16-24 and 25-44 indicating working age focussed population structure with decreasing proportion of those 65+. Increases in White British and those born elsewhere in the UK are high, whilst the White Scottish population are decreasing at the highest rate across the coast – resulting in the most homogenous white British group from the typology. This coupled with low deprivation and high levels of defence employment.
4. Super diversity (n=1) e.g. St Andrews From 2001 -2011. The population age profile is the inverse of the coastal trends with increase numbers of young adults and decline in the older age groups 45+ and fewer families than in other clusters. Private rented dominates the housing sector. This locality has been characterised by high levels of services and education industry employment. Low levels of fulltime employment, unemployment and LTS. There is a high population of students (and ages 16-24), and related SOC grade 1, high qualification profile, low deprivation. The student demographic is the most religiously and ethnically diverse of all coastal localities. Evidence shows the lowest percentage of White Scottish people at 49% of any locality. Ethnic diversification is evident across groups 2001 to 2011 is substantial, with greatest rates of change for many minority groups. The Chinese ethnic population increased at a rate over 10 standard deviations above the coastal average. The country of birth variable shows a similar pattern.

Background of methods used to collate and analyse data.

A typology was created from a two-stage cluster analysis of the data, and was undertaken for coastal localities (defined as within 2 kilometres of the coast) with populations of greater than 1,000 (for reasons of confidentiality). This 1,000 threshold explains why many smaller coastal communities do not feature on the maps.

The multi-level Coastal Localities Typology shows the different types of coastal town on the basis of their census based socio-economic and demographic characteristics. The Level 1 Typology was created using data drawn from 15 variables of the demographic, socio-economic, health and mobility indicators of the 2011 Scottish Census (e.g. age, household composition, self-rated health, industry, deprivation indicator, distance to work).

The level 2 analysis incorporates 3 variables measuring social diversity (ethnicity, religious affiliation, and country of birth), 5 change variables (Overall population change 2001 -2011, Proportional population change by age 2001 -2011, Proportional change in ethnicity by ethnic group 2001 -2011, Proportional change in religious affiliation by group 2001 -2011, and Proportional change in country of birth 2001 - 2011) taken from 2001 and 2011 Scottish Census; and an isolation variable (calculated on time to travel by land, including ferry, to nearest city of over 100,000 people: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow). The underlying geography of coastal towns is taken from the Localities 2010 dataset of the National Records for Scotland.

These indicators were then analysed across groups and compared to the coastal average to produce data driven descriptions for each type of place, and the general characteristic that can be expected to be observed for these types of places.

Acknowledgements

This study was the doctoral work of Dr Paula Duffy of the Marine and Coastal Environment Team at the University of St Andrews.

Paula was supervised by Dr Tim Stojanovic, Professor Nina Laurie, Professor Allan Findlay of the School of Geography and Sustainable Development, and Dr Estelle Jones of the Scottish Government.

The doctoral research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council +3 Award (Reference 1506438) Funded in partnership with Marine Scotland, The Scottish Government. The outputs from this work included in this assessment were made possible by the were generous funding of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society Early Career Knowledge Exchange Grant.

Reference:

Duffy, P. D., and T. A. Stojanovic (2018) The Potential for Assemblage Thinking in Population Geography: Assembling Population, Space and Place. Population, Space and Place 24 (3) e2097. https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2097

Other literature:

Marine Management Organisation (2011) Socio-Economic Typologies of Coastal Communities and Web Mapping Service (WMS). A report prepared by Roger Tym and partners. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/312722/se_typologies.pdf

Welsh Government (2016): Development of a coastal community typology- An overview of coastal communities and how marine activities can support their development. A Report prepared by OCSI (Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion) https://gov.wales/development-coastal-community-typology