Argyll and Bute Area Summary

Argyll and Bute Area Information

Argyll and Bute is relatively sparsely populated with 13 persons per km2 compared to the Scottish average of 69, and the English average of 420 per km2 (Scotland’s Census, 2011). It is estimated that there are 86,810 people living in Argyll and Bute (National Records of Scotland a, 2017)

There are 5 settlements with over 4,000 people in Argyll and Bute; Rothesay, Campbeltown, Oban, Dunoon settlement area and Helensburgh settlement area (National Records of Scotland b, 2016). The largest of these is the Helensburgh settlement area, including Rhu, with 15,610 people. 47% of Argyll and Bute’s population live in ‘rural’ areas (National Records of Scotland a, 2017) and (Scottish Government a, 2016) and approximately 17% of Argyll and Bute’s population live on one of 23 inhabited islands (Scotland’s Census, 2011).

Poor health and wellbeing is more common in areas with multiple deprivation. There are eleven datazones (small areas) within Argyll and Bute that are classified as within the 20% most deprived datazones in Scotland (Scottish Government b, 2016). These are located within the 5 settlement areas of Campbeltown, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Oban and Rothesay.

25% of the people living in Argyll and Bute are aged 65+, higher than 19% in Scotland as a whole (National Records of Scotland a, 2017). National Records of Scotland produced population projections for Argyll and Bute based on mid-2016 population estimates, current birth and death rates and estimated migration rates. Between 2016 and 2026 the population of Argyll and Bute is projected to decrease overall by 3.4%. The number of working age adults is projected to decrease by 4.5% but the number of people 75+ is projected to increase by 30%. This aging demographic is a major challenge for health and social care services. (National Records of Scotland c, 2016)

In 2017, 29% of deaths in Argyll and Bute were due to cancer with cancers of the lung, trachea and bronchus accounting for 6% of all deaths. Ischemic Heart diseases (12%), Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia (11%), Cerebrovascular diseases (7%) and Chronic Lower Respiratory diseases (5%) accounted for a further 35% of deaths (National Records of Scotland d, 2017).

Life expectancy at birth in Argyll and Bute is 77.4 for males and 82.2 for females, compared to 77.0 and 81.1 for Scotland as whole (ScotPHO a, 2015 Mid Point). The health and wellbeing of Argyll and Bute is profiled by ScotPHO. For 31 out of 33 indicators, Argyll and Bute was either significantly ‘better’ or not significantly different from the Scottish average (at March 2019). The 2 indicators for which Argyll and Bute was ‘worse’ than Scotland as a whole are People living in 15% most ‘access deprived’ areas, and Child Obesity in Primary 1 (ScotPHO b, 2010-18).

Works Cited

National Records of Scotland a. (2017). Mid-2017 population estimates Scotland. Retrieved from

National Records of Scotland b. (2016). Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland. Retrieved from

National Records of Scotland c. (2016). Population Projections for Scottish Areas (2016-based). Retrieved from

National Records of Scotland d. (2017). Vital Events Reference Tables 2017. Retrieved from

Scotland’s Census. (2011). Standard Outputs. Retrieved from

ScotPHO a. (2015 Mid Point). ScotPHO profiles. Retrieved from

ScotPHO b. (2010-18). Health & wellbeing profile. Retrieved from

Scottish Government a. (2016). Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016. Retrieved from

Scottish Government b. (2016). The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Retrieved from