Timeline

1851

Census facts:

No kidding - Population
Over the last 150 years the proportion of children in Scotland’s population has steadily declined. In 1851, 36 per cent of the population was under 15. Now, with an ageing population, its only 19 per cent.
* From Scotland's Census 1851

The big 4-0 - Health
In 1851, life expectancy was 40 for men and 44 for women. Children had a 1 in 7 chance of dying before their first birthday. Thankfully, things have improved. Babies now have a 99.5 per cent survival rate, and life expectancy for men is 74 years and 79 years for women.
*Scotland’s Census doesn’t measure life expectancy.

A dram too few - Culture
In the 1850s, Scotland’s consumption of whisky was about 1.6 gallons a year per person. By 1931, our yearly whisky intake had nipped down to 0.4 gallons.
*Scotland’s Census doesn’t ask about your alcohol consumption.

Contemporary historical facts:

1850 – Following a massive storm, the Neolithic village of Scara Brae is discovered in Orkney

1853 – 1856  The Crimean War is fought between the Russian Empire on one side and an alliance of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire on the other. At the battle front, Florence Nightingale begins her campaign for hospital reforms.

1855- David Livingstone , the Scottish missionary-explorer and human rights campaigner, reaches the Victoria Falls and describes them to a European audience for the first time.

1859- Darwin’s 'Origin of Species' is published. His theory of evolution changes the way people think about human history and the environment– as well as challenging traditional religious teaching.

1861

Census facts:

A tale of two cities - Population
In 1861 Edinburgh has some of the most densely populated places in the country. The Tron and Canongate areas record densities of 353 and 238 per acre. Yet a few miles away Morningside with just 8 people per acre, has one of the lowest density rates.
* Scotland's Census only records the population of villages, towns and cities.

The dreaded cough - Health
Tuberculosis is a major health hazard in this period – killing 361 people in 100,000. It wouldn’t be until the 1940s – and the discovery of penicillin by Scotsman Alexander Fleming – that TB would be brought under control.
* Scotland’s Census doesn’t record cause of death.

A bit of a squeeze - Culture
Scotland’s industrialisation leads to overcrowding on a massive scale. By 1861, 64 per cent of the entire Scottish population lives in houses with just one or two rooms. On average five Scots lived in a single room.
* From the Scotland's 1861 Census

Contemporary historical facts:

26 January 1861 – The one o’clock gun is fired from Edinburgh Castle for the first time.
1861-1865 – The American Civil War between the Union States and the Confederate States leads to 620,000 American deaths – more than in any conflict from the Revolution to Vietnam. After Union victory, slavery is abolished.
1868 – The Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society was founded
1869 – Edinburgh University becomes the first in Britain to allow women to study medicine, thought not graduate. (However, in 1812, one women managed to slip through – masquerading as  Dr James Barry.)
17 October 1860 –  The world’s first professional golf tournament, The Open Championship, is played at Prestwick, Scotland.

1871

Census facts:

A pregnant pause - Population
In 1871, Scotland has a growing population. The birth rate is 35 per thousand, with a death rate of around 22 per thousand. The Education Act of 1872 makes it compulsory for children to go to school. No longer able to work at a young age, children represented more of a financial burden for poor families in the Victorian era.
*From the 1871 Annual Report

A very long queue - Health
Scotland’s doctors are stretched to the limit. In Glasgow, one doctor could have as many as 20,000 patients, and have to make 3,000 home visits in a year.
*Scotland's Census doesn't record health care details.

A hard lesson to take - Culture
In the late 19th century, juvenile delinquents and destitute children are sent to industrial schools. The variable standards in these schools are shown in one chilling statistic: 45 deaths in Scottish Industrial schools were recorded in 1871.
* Scotland’s census doesn't record industrial accidents.

Contemporary historical facts:

18 January 1871 – Otto Von Bismark, the prime minister of Prussia, unifies the 16 independent German states to create the modern country of Germany.
30 November 1872 - the first international football match between Scotland and England is played, the score ending 0-0.
10 March 1876 -  Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
1871 – Scotland hosts and wins the world’s first recognized rugby international against England.

1881

Census facts:

The steel town - Population
In the 19th century, Motherwell became the centre for Scotland’s steel production. In 1841 the town’s population was just 726. Forty years later, in 1881, the population of ‘Steelopolis’ is 12,904.                 
*From Scotland's Census 1841 and 1881.

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases - Health
The rapid growth and overcrowding of Scotland’s urban population during 19th century industrialisation led to unprecedented problems of public sanitation. Meager bathing, shared facilities and poor sewage systems meant that diseases spread like wildfire. Without an NHS equivalent many were left untreated. It wasn’t until the 1889 Local Government Act for public health affairs that an organised response was developed to tackle the situation.
*Scotland's Census is only interested in general health.

Catch of their day - Culture
The late 19th century saw a boom in the herring trade. As the Scottish herring fishery expanded it outstripped its European rivals and became the largest fishery in the world. By 1880, some 7000 boats in Scotland were interested in this fishy business.
*Scotland's Census doesn't ask for details of your occupation.

Contemporary historical facts:

1883 - The Scottish author Robert Lewis Stevenson publishes his adventure novel Treasure Island.
1885 – Karl Benz develops the first petrol-driven car, causing a technological revolution through the mass explosion of car use.
1886 – Crofters Holding (Scotland) Act 1886: following decades of campaigning after the devastating ‘Highland Clearances’, the crofters finally get rights of tenure on their land. This act becomes known as the ‘Magna Carta of Gaeldom’.
1887Sherlock Holmes, the fictional character created by the Scottish author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first appears in publication in  ‘A  study in scarlet’.

1891

Census facts:

Without a trace - Population
Our knowledge of death rates in the first half of the 19th Century is obscured by the fact that the Civil Registration of births and deaths wasn’t introduced until 1855 – more than 50 years after the first Census. Even then, 42 per cent of deaths in Inverness went uncertified in 1891.
*GROS is responsible for conducting Scotland’s Census and recording births, deaths and marriages.

Poorly treated - Health
In the 1880’s, people who couldn’t afford medical fees had to rely on poorhouse hospitals which were funded by donations. However, the criteria to be admitted were very restrictive. Would-be patients had to be both destitute and disabled.
* Taken from the 1891 and 2001 Scottish Census and the Registrar General.

Minding the language - Culture
In 1891 the census shows that there were 254,465 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, about 5 per cent of the population. The number of Gaelic speakers in the last 100 years has fallen by three quarters. The 2001 Census shows that only 1.2 per cent of the population could speak any Gaelic.
*From Scotland's Census 1891 and 2001.

Contemporary historical facts:

4 March 1890 – The Forth Railway Bridge connecting Edinburgh and Fife is opened, and is widely considered an engineering marvel.
1893 – The Scottish politician James Keir Hardie helps form the Independent Labour Party and is elected chairman and leader. He had risen from humble beginnings as the son of a servant and, as a child, had worked in the coal mines.
26 June 1984 – In Ireland, tenants refuse to communicate with a ruthless land agent, Captain Charles Cuningham Boycott.
8 November 1895 – Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physics professor, discovers X-Rays. He labels his newly discovered rays ‘X’ as the symbol for the unknown.

1901

Census facts:

The Scottish diaspora - Population
The Edwardian period saw Scots migrating at twice the rate of the English. With the harsh conditions of urban overcrowding at home and the lure of North America and Commonwealth countries abroad, the 1911 census records the largest loss of population by migration in one decade yet recorded.
*From Scotland's Census 1911.

A drain on healthcare - Health
People’s general health improves following better sewage and drainage systems. Although tuberculosis was still a common deadly threat, infectious diseases such as typhus, scarlet fever and smallpox had been almost eradicated.
*The Census is only interested in your general health.

Country cousins - Culture
Around 70 per cent of Scotland’s population lives in towns of 2,000 or more people. By 1911, Scotland has become the second most urbanised country in the world, exceeded only by England. Only 50 years earlier, life was more rural.
*From Scotland’s Census 1861, 1901 and 1911.

Contemporary historical facts:

22 January 1901 – Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch in British history, dies age 81 heralding the start of the Edwardian era.
17 December 1903 – Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright make the world’s first flight, covering 120 metres in 12 seconds.
1905  - A 26-year-old Albert Einstein publishes his theory of special relativity, transforming man’s understanding of physical knowledge and nature.
1907 - The Scottish coal industry reaches a peak in the early 20th century, with coal output reaching 40 million tons – a huge leap from 2 million tons a century before.

1911

Census facts:

The jute king of Europe - Population
In Dundee almost half of the population are engaged in manufacturing textiles. With the industrial changes of the 20th century, the jute industry went into decline. The last mill in Dundee closed in 1998.
*From Scotland's Census 1911.

A welcome help - Health
The National Insurance Act of 1911 set up the country’s first unemployment benefit and national health insurance schemes. Not all workers benefited from this forerunner of the welfare state. Workers had to earn £160 per annum or less – and dependents and the self-employed were not included.
*The census asks about work but it doesn’t measure benefits

Are you being served? - Culture
In 1853, there were 2,053 public houses in Glasgow (one for every 170 people). The trend towards pubs becoming increasingly large and lavish places meant by 1912 the number had fallen to 1,261 pubs (one for every 622 people).
*Scotland's Census does not count public houses.

Contemporary historical facts:   

14 April 1912 – the Titanic, the most luxurious ocean liner the world had ever seen, sinks on its maiden voyage after striking an iceberg – killing 1,517 people.
28 June 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated in Sarajevo. One month later, in the tense political climate, the death acted as the trigger for  the outbreak of war.
1915 - Elizabeth Anderson Crighton was made the first female railway guard with The Caledonian Railway Company.
March 1918 – The 1918 flu epidemic (Spanish flu) spreads to nearly every corner of the globe, killing between 50 to 100 million people worldwide, or, a third of the population of Europe.
1919 – The Scottish industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the most prolific philanthropist the world had ever seen, dies in America aged 83.

1921

Census facts:

The tartan brain drain - Population
Between 1921 and 1931, 400,000 Scots emigrated. In the early 1920s, when Scottish emigration reached its peak,
55 per cent of adult male emigrants were skilled workers, while 15 per cent came from professional or commercial classes.
*Scotland's Census does not ask about emigration.

Care in the capital - Health
In Edinburgh in 1921, 90 babies in every 1,000 died in their first year. The number of deaths per thousand live births gives an indication of the standards of health in the population. By 2001, the figure was down to 5 infant deaths per 1000 births.
*Scotland's Census does not record births and deaths.

It’s a woman’s world - Culture
Following World War I, the census records the largest increase in the excess of women over men than ever before. With 187,213 more Scottish women, they outnumber men by 1080 to 1000.
*From Scotland's Census 1921.

 

Contemporary historical facts:

2 October 1925 – The Scottish inventor John Logie Baird successfully transmits the world’s first television picture. In 1928 he demonstrated the world’s first colour transmission, though it wasn’t to catch on till the 1960’s.
2 July 1928 – The 1828 Equal Franchise Act gives all women the vote at twenty-one: the same age, and on the same terms, as men.
28 September 1928 -  Alexander Fleming, the Scottish scientist, discovers penicillin. The drug goes on to make a major difference in the treatment of diseases, effectively saving millions of lives.
24 October 1929 – the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was the biggest financial crisis of the 20th century. It instigated the ‘Great Depression’, the effects of which were to be felt world-wide.

1931

Census facts:

The empire’s deputy - Population
From the turn of the 19th century, Glasgow had been known as the ‘second city of the empire’. From 1870 to the outbreak of the First World War the city had produced almost a fifth of the world’s ships. However, its prestigious status suffered along with a gradual decline in the need for merchant and navy ships. By the 1930s an economic downturn had begun. In 1931 the population of Glasgow city was 1,088,461. As heavy industry declined the population decreased. In 2001 the Census recorded a population of 577,869.
*Scotland's Census does not record industrial information.

The deadly births  - Health
In 1931, 412 Scottish women die each year in childbirth. The ‘30s sees an improvement in maternal care. With the creation of the NHS in 1948, by 1950 the maternal mortality rate has dropped to a fifth of what it was in 1935.
*Scotland's Census does not record births, deaths and marriages.

A depressing era - Culture
In 1931, in the midst of the great depression, 39.2 per cent of Scottish men aged 14 and over are unemployed. By 1936, employment picked up in the heavy industries due to the British rearmament in the face of the threat from Nazi Germany.
*Scotland's Census does not ask about your occupation.

Contemporary historical facts:

29 August 1930 – The 36 remaining inhabitants of the small Atlantic island of St. Kilda are evacuated to the mainland at their own request.
30 July 1938 – The first edition of the children’s comic The Beano is published in Dundee.
3 September 1939 – Outbreak of World War II: 50 million people die in the ensuing conflict from 1939  to 1945 – almost 60 per cent of them Allied civilians. By the end of history’s largest and deadliest war, the long reign of imperialism is over and men have developed the means to destroy life on a massive scale with the atomic bomb.
10 December 1936 – King Edward VIII gives up his throne to avoid sparking a  constitutional crisis following his decision to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

1941

Census facts:

The missing link - Population
The census has been held in Scotland every 10 years since 1801 – except in 1941 due to the Second World War.

A fleaing situation - Health
In 1941, diptheria was rife in Scotland. 15,069 cases were reported among children alone. Poverty and poor health in the inner city slums were a major health concern. Indeed, 31per cent of Glasgow children evacuated during the war were found to be infested with fleas and lice.
* Scotland’s Census only asks about general health and not specifics.

The kitchen front - Culture
On 8th January 1940, bacon, butter and sugar became the first things to be rationed in war-time Scotland. During the war other foods were added to the list and rationing did not end completely until July 1954.
*Scotland’s Census does not ask about your diet.

Contemporary historical facts:

6 June 1944 – the start of a European invasion also known as ‘D-Day’ saw thousands of allied troops land on Normandy beaches for the beginning of a major offensive against the Germans.
1947 – The Edinburgh International Festival is founded in the aftermath of the devastating war, with the aim of uniting the people and artists of Europe in a “celebration of the human spirit”.
15 August 1947 – India gains independence from Britain.

1951

Census facts:

Golden Oldies - Population
During the post-WWII baby boom, the 1951 Census records that the largest age group is that of 0-4 year old children. By 2001 Scotland’s population are living longer than ever before: the number of over 85s have more than doubled, whilst the number of 0-4 yr olds has 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 per cent, but the number of people over 60 will increase by 54 per cent.

The cough carries you off - Health
By the late 1940s, tuberculosis (TB) was killing someone every two hours in Scotland. In 1951, due to a shortage of beds and nurses, Scottish TB patients were airlifted to Switzerland for treatment.
*Scotland's Census doesn't record deaths or causes of deaths.

bah humbug! - Culture
In 1958, Christmas isn’t cancelled! The 25th of December becomes a public holiday in Scotland. Previously, in the centuries since the Reformation, the Scottish clergy had taken a dim view of the mid-winter festivities.
*Scotland’s Census does not ask if you celebrate Christmas.

Contemporary historical facts:

29 May 1953 – Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach  the summit of Mount Everest.
2 June 1953 – An estimated 20 million TV viewers see a 25-year -old Princess Eizabeth crowned Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth
1959 – The silicon chip is invented, paving the way for personal computers.

1961

Census facts:

The new urban utopias - Population
In the post-war era, huge areas of inner-city slums are demolished. To cope with Glasgow’s over spilling population, five new towns are developed; East Kilbride, Irvine, Livingston, Glenrothes and Cumbernauld. With limited space within the city boundaries, city-planners built up and up: in the 50s and 60s, Glasgow built more high-rise flats than any other European city.
*Scotland's Census records size of the Scottish population in towns and cities.

Up in smoke - Health
In 1961, 59 per cent of men and 43 per cent of women smoked. Smoking had peaked in 1948 for men at 82 per cent accompanied by a 'phenomenal increase' in deaths from lung cancer. Despite decades of health campaigns, currently,
26 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women still smoke.
*Scotland's Census doesn't ask if you smoke.

I Do and I Do again - Culture
In the swinging sixties only 4 per centof marriages were remarriages. By 2007 this figure rose to over a quarter, with more people also co-habitating than ever before.
*Scotland’s Census does not record marriages, but since 2001 records household relationships.

Contemporary historical facts:

28 August 1963 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King delivers his ‘I have a dream’ speech, addressing his desire for all men to co-exist harmoniously as equals.
1 January 1963 – Beatlemania comes to Scotland when the Fab Four open a 5-day tour to promote their first single ‘Love Me Do’.
22 November 1963 President J.F. Kennedy is assassinated causing shock waves to reverberate around the world.
20 July  1969 – Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to set foot on the moon declaring it to be ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’.

1971

Census facts:

The Highland Capital - Population
From 1971 to 2001, the population of Inverness and its surrounding area grew by 34 per cent – from 41,000 to 65,000. Families and early retirees are attracted there from the rest of the UK.
*From Scotland’s Census 1971 and 2001.

The Pill - Health
In the '60s, oral contraceptives for women are introduced. Scotland's birth rate begins to fall. From a peak birth rate of 104,000 in the mid-60s, there was a marked decline by the early 1970s. The 2002 total of 51,270 live births is only half that recorded in the mid-1960s.
*Scotland's Census does not record birth rate but does ask how many children you have.

The road to equality - Culture
The ‘70s saw the beginning of huge strides in gender equality, with the 1970 Equal pay Act and the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. In 1975, only 57per cemt of women were employed – now 71per cent are employed. Then, only a fifth of managerial workers were female - now two thirds of these positions belong to women.
*Scotland’s Census asks women, and men, if they are employed.     

        

Contemporary historical facts:

1970 – The Commonwealth Games come to Scotland for the first time and are staged in Edinburgh.
2 January 1971 - Scotland’s worst football tragedy occurs at a Rangers-Celtic New Year derby at Ibrox, when a collapsed barrier kills 66 and injures hundreds.
11 June 1975 - The first North Sea oil is pumped ashore at Sullom Voe in Shetland.
3 May 1979 –Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, leading the country from 1979 until her resignation in 1990.

1981

Census facts:

Shetland’s black gold - Population
By the mid 60’s, the population of Shetland fell to nearly 17,000. However, the nearby discovery of oil in the 1970s has made a difference. The 1981 Census shows that between 1971 and 1981 the population of Shetland rose by
57.4%per cent.
*From Scotland’s Census 1971 and 1981.

More alternatives to chips, please
Scottish children’s health takes a tumble when the 1980 Education (Scotland) Act deregulates school meals. This leads to smaller, less nutritional, and more expensive school lunches. The standard of Scottish school fare continued to decline – until recently, when the issue was raised in the Scottish Parliament.
*Scotland's Census does not ask about eating habits.

Going it alone - Culture
Since the 1980’s there’s been a significant rise in self-employment in both Scotland’s cities and rural areas. In 1981 for example, Edinburgh had 13,100 self-employed residents. By 2001, this rose to 22,200.
* Scotland's Census asks your occupational status.

Contemporary historical facts:

7 March 1984 – Scotland’s miners go on strike over planned pit closures. The nationwide strikes were a defining moment in British industrial relations and the defeat weakened the British trade union movement.
13 July 1985 – Live Aid, a rock music concert is organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. It is one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time with over 400 million viewers, across 60 countries.
9 November 1989 - The Berlin Wall comes down, symbolizing the end of the Cold War and the fall of the old Communist Bloc.

1991

Census facts:

Return of the Highlander - Population
After centuries of decline, the population of the Scottish Highlands and Islands rises. In 2001 it had increased to 433,745 – an increase of 0.8 per cent from 1991. In contrast, the rest of Scotland had a 1.3 per cent decrease over the same period.
*From Scotland’s Census 2001.

The contemporary killers - Health
By the late 20th century, diseases that were once so deadly (typhoid, diphtheria and cholera) had been practically eradicated. However, they’ve been replaced by two new killers – coronary heart disease and cancer. These account for half of all deaths in Scotland in 1996.
* Scotland’s Census only asks about the living and therefore does not record deaths.

Our ‘valley’ in the glen - Culture
In the 1990’s Scotland’s ‘Silicon Glen’, centred around Livingston, produces 35 per cent of Europe’s PCs and
12 per cent of the world’s semi-conductors, and employing more than 55,000 people.
*Scotland’s Census does not record commerical information.

Contemporary historical facts:

1990 – Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee invents HTML making the World Wide Web possible and ushering in the information revolution.
1995 – Edinburgh’s city centre, comprising the medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
1997- Dolly the Sheep, the world’s first genetically cloned mammal, is created by scientists at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh.
9 July 1999 – The Scottish Parliament is officially opened for the first time since 1707.

2001

Census facts:

The new faces of Scotland - Population
In 2001, 1 in 50 Scots were from an ethnic minority background. On Scotland’s islands, the figure was 1 in 150. However, the islands’ ethnic minority population was almost 60 per cent higher in 2001 than in 1991.
*From Scotland’s Census 2001.

Stubbing out cancer - Health
Smoking was Scotland’s biggest cause of premature death in 2004 representing a quarter of all deaths (24per cent). In March 2006, Scotland bans smoking in public places in a move described as ‘the most significant piece of health care legislation in a generation’.
* Scotland’s Census doesn’t ask if you smoke – or have given up.

Religion and the census - Culture
The 2001 Census was the first census to ask people to volunteer their religion. It found:

    • Church of Scotland – 2,146,251
    • Roman Catholic – 803,732
    • Other Christian – 344,562
    • Buddhist – 6,830
    • Hindu – 5,564
    • Jewish – 6,448
    • Muslim – 42,557
    • Sikh – 6,572
    • Other – 26,974
    • Not answered – 278,061

*From Scotland’s Census 1991.

Contemporary historical facts:

December 2000 – Inverness is granted city status by the Queen, in celebration of the millennium.
11 September 2001 – A series of coordinated terrorist attacks in the United States result in the collapse of the ‘twin towers’ of the World Trade Center, and thousands of deaths.
26 December 2004 – The Boxing Day Asian tsunami is one of the deadliest natural disasters in history, killing more than 225,000 people in 11 countries and prompting a widespread humanitarian response.
5 December 2005 – The Civil Partnership Act 2004 comes into force, allowing same-sex couples to have for the first time identical rights and responsibilities to civil marriages.  The 2011 Census will ask about civil partnerships for the first time.