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Main article: Demography of Scotland

See also: Language in Scotland, Religion in Scotland, and Scottish people



Edinburgh, Scotland's capital and second-largest city

The population of Scotland in the 2001 Census was 5,062,011. This has risen to 5,222,100 according to June 2010 estimates.[15Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

1] This would make Scotland the 113th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state. Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland it is not the largest city. With a population of just over 584,000, this honour falls to Glasgow. The Greater Glasgow conurbation, with a population of almost 1.2 million, is home to nearly a quarter of Scotland's population.[152] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery


The Central Belt is where most of the main towns and cities are located. Glasgow is to the west, while Edinburgh and Dundee lie on the east coast. Scotland's only major city outside the Central Belt is Aberdeen, on the east coast to the north. The Highlands are sparsely populated, although the city of Inverness has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery


In general only the more accessible and larger islands retain human populations, and fewer than 90 are currently inhabited. The Southern Uplands are essentially rural in nature and dominated by agriculture and forestry.[153][154] Because of housing problems in Glasgow and Edinburgh, five new towns were created between 1947 and 1966. They are East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston, Cumbernauld, and Irvine.[155] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery




Map of Scottish clans

Because of immigration since World War II, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee have small South Asian communities.[156] Since the recent Enlargement of the European Union there has been an increased number of people from Central and Eastern Europe moving to Scotland, and it is estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 Poles are now living in the country.[157] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

 As of 2001, there are 16,310 ethnic Chinese residing in Scotland.[158] The ethnic groups within Scotland are as follows: White, 97.99%; South Asian, 1.09%; Black, 0.16%; Mixed, 0.25%; Chinese, 0.32% and Other, 0.19%.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery


Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Almost all Scots speak Scottish Standard English, and in 1996, the General Register Office for Scotland estimated that 30% of the population are fluent in Scots.[15Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

9] Gaelic is mostly spoken in the Western Isles, where a large number of people still speak it; however, nationally its use is confined to just 1% of the population.[160] The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland dropped from 250,000 – 7% of the population – in 1881 to 60,000 today.[161] HP Pavilion DV4 Battery


There are many more people with Scottish ancestry living abroad than the total population of Scotland. In the 2000 Census, 9.2 HP Pavilion DV4T Battery

million Americans self-reported some degree of Scottish descent.[162] Ulster's Protestant population is mainly of lowland Scottish descent,[16HP Pavilion DV5 Battery

3] and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million descendants of the Scots-Irish migration now living in the U.S.[164][165] In Canada, the Scottish-Canadian community accounts for 4.7 million people.[166] About 20% of the original European settler population of New Zealand came from Scotland.[167]

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Main article: Education in Scotland



Gilbert Scott Building, University of Glasgow

The Scottish education system has always remained distinct from education in the rest of United Kingdom, with a characteristic emphasis on a broad education.[16

HP Pavilion DV6 Battery8] Scotland was the first country since Sparta in classical Greece to implement a system of general public education.[50] Schooling was made compulsory for the first time in Scotland with the Education Act of 1496, then, in 1561, HP Pavilion DV6T Battery

the Church of Scotland set out a national programme for spiritual reform, including a school in every parish. Education continued to be a matter for the church rather than the state until the Education Act (1872).[169] HP Pavilion DV6Z Battery


The "Curriculum for Excellence" provides the curricular framework for children and young people from age 3 to 18.[170] All 3- and 4-year-old children in Scotland are entitled to a free nursery place. Formal primary education begins at approximately 5 years old and lasts for 7 years (P1–P7); HP Pavilion DV6Z-1100 Battery

Today, children in Scotland study Standard Grades, or more recently Intermediate qualifications between the ages of 14 and 16. The school leaving age is 16, after which students may choose to remain at school and study for Access, Intermediate or Higher Grade and Advanced Higher qualifications. A small number of students at certain private, HP Pavilion DV6Z-2000 Battery

 independent schools may follow the English system and study towards GCSEs and A and AS-Levels instead.[171]

There are 15 Scottish universities, some of which are amongst the oldest in the world.[172][173] These include the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh, the Heriot-Watt University, the Robert Gordon University, and the University of Dundee—many of which are ranked amongst the best in the UK.[174][ HP Pavilion G60 Battery

175] The country produces 1% of the world's published research with less than 0.1% of the world's population, and higher education institutions account for nine per cent of Scotland's service sector exports.[176][177] Scotland's University Courts are the only bodies within Scotland where students can be awarded Degrees. HP Pavilion DV5Z-1000 Battery


Scotland's Universities are complemented in the provision of Further and Higher Education by 43 Colleges. Colleges offer National Certificates, Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas. These Group Awards, alongside Scottish Vocational Qualifications, HP Pavilion DV5Z-1100 Battery

help ensure Scotland's population has the appropriate skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the workplace.

Scotland's regulatory body for qualifications is SQA Accreditation.

Scotland's Qualifications are mapped on the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework). The SCQF provides a language to help understand the complexity and size of qualifications, ranging from Access 1 (SCQF Level 1) to Doctorates (SCQF Level 12).

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Main article: Religion in Scotland



Iona Abbey an early centre of Scottish Christianity

Just over two-thirds (67%) of the Scottish population reported having a religion in 2001 with Christianity representing all but 2% of these.[178] 28% of the population reported having no religious adherence. HP Pavilion DV6-1120SA Battery


Since the Scottish Reformation of 1560, the national church (the Church of Scotland, also known as The Kirk) has been Protestant and Reformed in theology. Since 1689 it has had a Presbyterian system of church government, and enjoys independence from the state.[15COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ71 Battery

] About 12% of the population are currently members of the Church of Scotland, with 40% claiming affinity. The Church operates a territorial parish structure, with every community in Scotland having a local congregation. COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ70 Battery


Scotland also has a significant Roman Catholic population, 19% claiming that faith, particularly in the west.[179] After the Reformation, Roman Catholicism in Scotland continued in the Highlands and some western islands like Uist and Barra, and was strengthened during the 19th century by immigration from Ireland. COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ61-100 Battery


Other Christian denominations in Scotland include the Free Church of Scotland, various other Presbyterian offshoots, and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Islam is the largest non-Christian religion (estimated at around 40,000, which is less than 0.9% of the population),[180] and there are also significant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities, especially in Glasgow.[180] The Samyé Ling monastery near Eskdalemuir, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007, includes the largest Buddhist temple in western Europe.[181] COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ60 Battery


Health care

Main article: Healthcare in Scotland

Healthcare in Scotland is mainly provided by NHS Scotland, Scotland's public health care system. The service was founded by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947 (later repealed by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978) that took effect on 5 July 1948 to coincide with the launch of the NHS in England and Wales. COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ50 Battery

However, even prior to 1948, half of Scotland's landmass was already covered by state funded health care, provided by the Highlands and Islands Medical Service.[182]

As at September 2009, NHS Scotland employed 168,976 staff including 68,681 nurses and midwives. In addition, there were also 16,256 medical staff (including GP's), COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ45-307TX Battery

5,002 dental staff (including dental support) and 11,777 allied health profession staff.[183] The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well Being is responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the work of NHS Scotland. COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ45-306TX Battery




Main article: Military of Scotland



Soldiers of the five regular battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Although Scotland has a long military tradition that predates the Treaty of Union with England, its armed forces now form part of the British Armed Forces, with the notable exception of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe's only legal private army. In 2006, the infantry regiments of the Scottish Division were amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland.COMPAQ PRESARIO CQ40-305AU Battery

 Other distinctively Scottish regiments in the British Army include the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Scottish Transport Regiment, a Territorial Army Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps. HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery


Because of their topography and perceived remoteness, parts of Scotland have housed many sensitive defence establishments, with mixed public feelings.[184][185][18HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR Battery

6] Between 1960 and 1991, the Holy Loch was a base for the U.S. fleet of Polaris ballistic missile submarines.[187] Today, Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, 25 miles (40 km) west of Glasgow, is the base for the four Trident-armed Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines that comprise the UK's nuclear deterrent. Scapa Flow was the major Fleet base for the Royal Navy until 1956. HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery


Two frontline Royal Air Force bases are also located in Scotland. These are RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth, the last of which is the most northerly air defence fighter base in the United Kingdom. A third, RAF Kinloss will be closed as an RAF unit in 201314. HP Pavilion DV6-1220EO Battery


The only open-air live depleted uranium weapons test range in the British Isles is located near Dundrennan.[188] As a result, over 7,000 radioactive munitions lie on the seabed of the Solway Firth.[189] HP Pavilion DV5-1015ED Battery




Main article: Culture of Scotland

See also: Scottish People, Music in Scotland, Scottish literature, Scottish art, Media in Scotland, and Cuisine of Scotland

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A Pipe Major playing the Great Highland Bagpipe

Scottish music is a significant aspect of the nation's culture, with both traditional and modern influences. A famous traditional Scottish instrument is the Great Highland Bagpipe, a wind instrument consisting of three drones and a melody pipe (called the chanter), HP Pavilion DV5-1005EL Battery

which are fed continuously by a reservoir of air in a bag. Bagpipe bands, featuring bagpipes and various types of drums, and showcasing Scottish music styles while creating new ones, have spread throughout the world. The clàrsach (harp), fiddle and accordion are also traditional Scottish instruments, the latter two heavily featured in Scottish country dance bands. Today, there are many successful Scottish bands and individual artists in varying styles.[190] HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery


Scottish literature includes text written in English, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, French, and Latin. The poet and songwriter Robert Burns wrote in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English, and in a "light" Scots dialect that is more accessible to a wider audience. Similarly, the writings of Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were internationally successful during the 19th and early 20th Centuries.[191] HP Pavilion DV5-1032EG Battery


J. M. Barrie introduced the movement known as the "Kailyard school" at the end of the 19th century, which brought elements of fantasy and folklore back into fashion.[192] This tradition has been viewed as a major stumbling block for Scottish literature, HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery

as it focused on an idealised, pastoral picture of Scottish culture.[192] Some modern novelists, such as Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame), write in a distinctly Scottish English that reflects the harsher realities of contemporary life.[193] More recently, author J.K. Dell Latitude E6400 Battery

 Rowling has become one of the most popular authors in the world (and one of the wealthiest) through her Harry Potter series, which she began writing from a coffee-shop in Edinburgh. Dell Latitude E6500 Battery


Scottish theatre has for many years played an important role in Scottish society, from the music hall variety of Sir Harry Lauder and his contemporaries to the more serious plays put on at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and many other theatres throughout Scotland. Dell Inspiron E1505 Battery


The national broadcaster is BBC Scotland (BBC Alba in Gaelic), a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. Dell Inspiron XPS M170 Battery

 It runs two national television stations and the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, amongst others. The main Scottish commercial television station is STV. National newspapers such as the Daily Record, The Herald, and The Scotsman are all produced in Scotland.[ Dell Inspiron XPS M1710 Battery

194] Important regional dailies include the Evening News in Edinburgh 'The Courier in Dundee in the east, and The Press and Journal serving Aberdeen and the north.[194] Scotland is represented at the Celtic Media Festival, which showcases film and television from the Celtic countries. Scottish entrants have won many awards since the festival began in 1980.[195] Dell Latitude E6500 Battery


As one of the Celtic nations, Scotland and Scottish culture is represented at interceltic events at home and over the world. Scotland hosts several music festivals including Celtic Connections (Glasgow), and the Hebridean Celtic Festival (Stornoway). Festivals celebrating Celtic culture, Dell Latitude E6400 Battery

such as Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), the Pan Celtic Festival (Ireland), and the National Celtic Festival (Portarlington, Australia), feature elements of Scottish culture such as language, music and dance.[19Dell Precision M4400 Battery



Main article: Sport in Scotland



The Old Course at St Andrews

Sport is an important element in Scottish culture, with the country hosting many of its own national sporting competitions. It enjoys independent representation at many international sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby Union World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Dell Precision M6400 Battery

but not at the Olympic Games where Scottish athletes are part of the Great Britain team. Scotland has its own national governing bodies, such as the Scottish Football Association (the oldest national football association in the world)[203] and the Scottish Rugby Union. Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

Variations of football have been played in Scotland for centuries with the earliest reference dating back to 1424.[204] Association football is now the most popular sport and the Scottish Cup is the world's oldest national trophy.[205] Dell Latitude E5500 Battery


Scotland contested the first ever international football game in 1872, a 0–0 draw against England. The match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club. Scottish clubs have been successful in European competitions with Celtic winning the European Cup in 1967, Dell Latitude E5410 Battery

Rangers and Aberdeen winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 and 1983 respectively, and Aberdeen also winning the UEFA Super Cup in 1983. Dundee United have also made it to a European final, reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 1987, but losing on aggregate 2-1 to IFK Göteborg. Dell Inspiron Mini 1011 Battery

 The Fife town of St. Andrews is known internationally as the Home of golf[206] and to many golfers the Old Course, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage.[207] There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Battery

including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, and Royal Troon. Other distinctive features of the national sporting culture include the Highland games, HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery

curling and Shinty, which, given its arrival with the Gaelic language and the original Scottish culture from Antrim, Dell lnspiron Mini 12 Battery

can claim to be Scotland's national sport. Scotland played host to the Commonwealth Games in 1970 and 1986, and will do so again in 2014 with Glasgow the host city. Dell Inspiron Mini 9N  Battery


National symbols

Main article: National symbols of Scotland



The thistle, Scotland's Floral emblem.

The national flag of Scotland, known as the Saltire or St. Andrew's Cross, dates from the 9th century, and is thus the oldest national flag still in use. Since 1606 the Saltire has also formed part of the design of the Union Flag. There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, Dell Inspiron Mini 9  Battery

both official and unofficial, including the thistle, the nation's floral emblem, 6 April 1320 statement of political independence the Declaration of Arbroath, the textile pattern tartan that often signifies a particular Scottish clan, and the Lion Rampant flag.[208][209][210] Highlanders can thank James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, for the repeal in 1782 of the Act of 1747 prohibiting the wearing of tartans.[211] HP Pavilion G60-401SA Battery


Although there is no official National anthem of Scotland,[212] Flower of Scotland is played at events such as football and rugby matches involving the Scotland national teams and as of 2010 is also played at the Commonwealth Games after it was voted the overwhelming favourite by participating Scottish athletes.[2HP Pavilion G60-406SA Battery

13] Other less popular candidates for the National Anthem of Scotland include Scotland the Brave, Highland Cathedral, Scots Wha Hae and A Man's A Man for A' That. HP Pavilion G60-410SA Battery


St Andrew's Day, 30 November, is the national day, although Burns' Night tends to be more widely observed, particularly outside Scotland. Tartan Day is a recent innovation from Canada. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, designating the day to be an official bank holiday.[214] HP Pavilion G60-415SA Battery


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