Quick Facts and Figures about Argyll and Bute

This page has been put together to provide a selection of quick facts and figures about Argyll and Bute

Are you looking for general information about Argyll and Bute - its people, places, businesses, education and local employment statistics? Useful facts and figures are available in our Area Profiles and Argyll and Bute in Numbers

Our area and its population

  • Argyll and Bute covers a land area of 690,946 hectares and is the second largest local authority by area in Scotland, after Highland (Census 2011).
  • Argyll and Bute covers almost 9% of the total Scottish land area (Census 2011). 
  • The population of Argyll and Bute is 85,570 (National Records of Scotland's 2019 Mid-Year Population Estimates).
  • Argyll and Bute has an estimated number of 41,630 households (National Records of Scotland's Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2018)
  • Argyll and Bute has the fourth sparsest population of the 32 Scottish local authorities, with an average population density of 0.12 persons per hectare.  This compares to a Scottish average of 0.70 persons per hectare (National Records of Scotland's 2019 Mid-Year Population Estimates).
  • The largest settlement in Argyll and Bute is Helensburgh, with a population of 15,610 (National Records of Scotland's 2016-based Settlement).  This figure is for the Helensburgh locality.
  • 48.4% of Argyll and Bute’s population live in areas classified by the Scottish Government as ‘rural’ (Scottish Government Urban-Rural Classification 2016).
  • 43% of Argyll and Bute’s population live in areas classified as ‘remote rural’; 4.2% live in areas classified as ‘accessible rural’.
  • 79.7% of Argyll and Bute’s population live within 1km of the coast.  96.5% of Argyll and Bute’s population live between 0 and 10km of the coast (Scottish Coastal Forum (2002)).

Islands

  • There are 23 inhabited islands in Argyll and Bute (Census 2011).  These are: Bute; Coll; Colonsay; Danna; Easdale; Eilean da Mheinn; Erraid; Gigha; Gometra; Inchtavannach; Innischonan; Iona; Islay; Jura; Kerrera; Lismore; Luing; Mull; Oronsay; Seil; Shuna (Luing); Tiree; Ulva.
  • Approximately 17.1% of Argyll and Bute’s population live on islands (Census 2011).

Earnings and Employment

  • Average gross weekly pay for full-time workers in Argyll and Bute is £536.20.  This compares to a Scottish average of £576.70 and a British average of £688.20 (Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019, workplace analysis.  Figures relate to the median earnings for employees living in the area).
  • Argyll and Bute's economy is predominantly service-based. Over 83% of employee jobs in the area are provided within the service sector. (ONS Business Register and Employment Survey 2017)
  • In 2018, 32.8% of employee jobs in Argyll and Bute are in ‘public administration, education and health’.  This compares to 29.8% for Scotland and 26.4% for Great Britain (NOMIS 2018).

Deprivation

  • Thirteen data zones in Argyll and Bute are included in the 20% most overall deprived data zones in Scotland.  These ten are all located in towns Helensburgh, Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown and Oban (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020). 
  • None of Argyll and Bute’s rural data zones fall into the 20% most overall deprived data zones in Scotland (SIMD 2020).
  • SIMD 2020 ranked fourteen data zones in Argyll and Bute among the 20% most income deprived data zones in Scotland.  These are all located in towns Rothesay, Dunoon, Campbeltown, Helensburgh and Oban.  
  • SIMD 2020 ranked 22 data zones in Argyll and Bute are in the 20% most employment deprived data zones in Scotland.  These are all located in towns Rothesay, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Campbeltown, Oban, Lochgilphead and Port Bannatyne.   
  • 52 of Argyll and Bute’s 125 data zones (42%) are amongst the 20% most geographically access deprived data zones in Scotland. 

Transport

  • The busiest ferry route in Scotland in terms of passengers and vehicles carried is the service between Gourock – Dunoon route. The route is operated by Western Ferries which carried 1,341,000 passengers in 2017. There were 608,000 cars carried on this route and 37,600 commercial vehicles and buses in 2017 (Scottish Transport Statistics 2018).
  • Ferries operated by Argyll and Bute Council carried 144,000 passengers in 2017 (Scottish Transport Statistics 2017).
  • There are 2,581 km (1,617 miles) of roads in Argyll and Bute, 4.6% of Scotland’s total road network (Scottish Transport Statistics 2018).
  • There are 14 railway stations in Argyll and Bute: Cardross; Craigendoran; Helensburgh Central; Helensburgh Upper; Garelochhead; Arrochar and Tarbet; Ardlui; Bridge of Orchy; Dalmally; Loch Awe; Falls of Cruachan; Taynuilt; Connel Ferry; Oban.

Data verified: June 2020