List of towns and cities in Scotland by population

This is a list of towns and cities in Scotland with a population of more than 15,000, ordered by population, as defined and compiled by the National Records of Scotland organisation.

This article is divided into two sections. The first section of this article ("Localities") contains a list of basic populated areas ordered by population. The second section of this article ("Settlements") is a list of populated urban areas, some of which are composed of more than one locality, and which may span across the boundaries of more than one council area.

All localities are either settlements, themselves, or contained within larger settlements. As of 2016, there are 655 localities in Scotland, of which 466 are also settlements. The remaining localities are contained within 53 settlements.[1]


In Scotland, locality refers to a populated area composed of contiguous postcodes with populations of at least 500.[lower-alpha 1][3] The 51 localities with a population over 15,000 are listed below.[2]

As of mid-2016
RankLocalityPopulationStatusCouncil area
1 Glasgow 612,040 City Glasgow City
2 Edinburgh 488,050 City City of Edinburgh
3 Aberdeen 200,680 City Aberdeen City
4 Dundee 148,280 City Dundee City
5 Paisley 77,220 Town[4] Renfrewshire
6 East Kilbride 75,120 Town South Lanarkshire
7 Livingston 57,030 Town West Lothian
8 Hamilton 54,080 Town South Lanarkshire
9 Dunfermline 53,100 Town Fife
10 Cumbernauld 50,920 Town North Lanarkshire
11 Kirkcaldy 50,010 Town Fife
12 Perth 47,430 City[5] Perth and Kinross
13 Inverness 47,290 City Highland
14 Ayr 46,780 Town South Ayrshire
15 Kilmarnock 46,770 Town East Ayrshire
16 Coatbridge 43,960 Town North Lanarkshire
17 Greenock 42,680 Town Inverclyde
18 Glenrothes 38,510 Town Fife
19 Stirling 37,610 City Stirling
20 Airdrie 37,410 Town North Lanarkshire
21 Falkirk 35,850 Town Falkirk
22 Irvine 34,090 Town North Ayrshire
23 Dumfries 33,440 Town Dumfries and Galloway
24 Motherwell 32,590 Town North Lanarkshire
25 Rutherglen 31,190 Town South Lanarkshire
26 Wishaw 30,290 Town North Lanarkshire
27 Cambuslang 29,100 Town South Lanarkshire
28 Bearsden 28,120 Town East Dunbartonshire
29 Newton Mearns 26,600 Town East Renfrewshire
30 Clydebank 26,320 Town West Dunbartonshire
31 Elgin 24,760 Town[4] Moray
32 Arbroath 23,940 Town Angus
33 Bishopbriggs 23,540 Town East Dunbartonshire
34 Bathgate 22,920 Town West Lothian
35 Renfrew 22,570 Town Renfrewshire
36 Kirkintilloch 21,380 Town East Dunbartonshire
37 Musselburgh 20,840 Town East Lothian
38 Dumbarton 20,560 Town West Dunbartonshire
39 Bellshill 20,290 Town North Lanarkshire
40 Peterhead 19,270 Town Aberdeenshire
41 Barrhead 17,610 Town East Renfrewshire
42 St Andrews 17,580 Town Fife
43 Bonnyrigg 17,530 Town Midlothian
44 Blantyre 16,900 Town South Lanarkshire
45 Grangemouth 16,650 Town Falkirk
46 Kilwinning 16,460 Town North Ayrshire
47 Penicuik 16,120 Town Midlothian
48 Johnstone 16,090 Town Renfrewshire
49 Viewpark 15,770 Town North Lanarkshire
50 Erskine 15,510 Town Renfrewshire
51 Broxburn 15,440 Town West Lothian
  1. The definition as per National Records of Scotland does not always correspond to other definitions. For example, the adjoining East Renfrewshire localities of Busby, Clarkston, Netherlee, and Stamperland with a combined population 21,350 are each counted separately, despite normally being unified as Clarkston. The same occurs in nearby Giffnock and Thornliebank. The total population for this agglomeration across its six NRS localities is 37,720.[2] Conversely, the distinct villages of Easthouses and Newtongrange in Midlothian are not listed at all, presumably included in the figure of adjoining Mayfield; however, the smaller village of Newbattle is listed.[2] Also noteworthy is Viewpark, which appears to include Birkenshaw and Tannochside under a single North Lanarkshire locality in this data.


In Scotland, settlement refers to a "collection of contiguous high density postcodes bounded by low density postcodes whose population was 500 or more". For example the area of Ayr includes the adjoining localities of Ayr and Prestwick.[lower-alpha 1] However, most settlements coincide to a single locality.[3] The 44 settlements with a population over 15,000 are listed below.[2]

As of mid-2016
RankUrban sub-areaPopulationLocalitiesCouncil areas
1 Greater Glasgow 985,290 Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Bowling, Busby, Cambuslang, Clarkston, Clydebank, Duntocher & Hardgate, Elderslie, Faifley, Giffnock, Glasgow, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Linwood, Milngavie, Netherlee, Newton Mearns, Old Kilpatrick, Paisley, Renfrew, Rutherglen, Stamperland, Stepps and Thornliebank Glasgow City, West Dunbartonshire, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire
2 Edinburgh 512,150 Edinburgh, Musselburgh and Wallyford City of Edinburgh and East Lothian
3 Aberdeen 214,610 Aberdeen, Cove Bay and Dyce Aberdeen City
4 Dundee 158,200 Dundee, Monifieth and Invergowrie Dundee City, Angus and Perth and Kinross
5 Motherwell and Wishaw 124,790 Bellshill, Carfin, Holytown, Motherwell, New Stevenston, Newarthill, Newmains, Viewpark and Wishaw North Lanarkshire
6 Falkirk 103,030 Brightons, Carron, Carronshore, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Larbert, Laurieston, Maddiston, Polmont, Redding, Reddingmuirhead, Rumford, Stenhousemuir, Wallacestone and Westquarter Falkirk
7 Coatbridge and Airdrie 91,020 Airdrie, Bargeddie, Chapelhall and Coatbridge North Lanarkshire
8 Hamilton 83,730 Blantyre, Bothwell, Hamilton and Uddingston South Lanarkshire
9 East Kilbride 75,120 East Kilbride South Lanarkshire
10 Dunfermline 74,380 Crossgates, Dunfermline, Inverkeithing and Rosyth Fife
11 Greenock 67,750 Gourock, Greenock and Port Glasgow Inverclyde
12 Livingston 65,810 Livingston and Mid Calder West Lothian
13 Inverness 63,220 Balloch, Culloden, Inverness, Smithton and Westhill Highland
14 Ayr 62,580 Ayr and Prestwick South Ayrshire
15 Dalkeith 52,260 Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith, Gorebridge, Mayfield[lower-alpha 2] and Newbattle Midlothian
16 Kilmarnock 51,390 Kilmarnock, Crookedholm and Hurlford East Ayrshire
17 Cumbernauld 50,920 Cumbernauld North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire
18 Kirkcaldy 50,010 Kirkcaldy Fife
19 Stirling 49,830 Bannockburn, Bridge of Allan and Stirling Stirling
20 Perth 47,430 Perth Perth and Kinross
21 Glenrothes 47,010 Coaltown of Balgonie, Glenrothes, Leslie, Markinch and Thornton Fife
22 Irvine 37,630 Dreghorn and Irvine North Ayrshire
23 Dumfries 34,030 Dumfries Dumfries and Galloway
24 Three Towns 32,540 Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston North Ayrshire
25 Methil, Leven and Buckhaven 30,530 Buckhaven, Kennoway, Leven, Methil and Windygates Fife
26 Kirkintilloch 29,450 Kirkintilloch and Lenzie East Dunbartonshire
27 Bathgate 28,470 Bathgate and Blackburn West Lothian
28 Bonnybridge 25,660 Banknock, Bonnybridge, Denny, Dennyloanhead, Dunipace, Greenhill, Haggs, Longcroft, Head of Muir and High Bonnybridge Falkirk
29 Elgin 24,760 Elgin Moray
30 Vale of Leven 24,300 Alexandria, Balloch & Haldane, Bonhill and Renton West Dunbartonshire
31 Arbroath 23,940 Arbroath Angus
32 Dumbarton 21,120 Dumbarton and Milton West Dunbartonshire
33 Alloa 20,730 Alloa and Sauchie Clackmannanshire
34 Peterhead 19,270 Peterhead Aberdeenshire
35 Cowdenbeath 18,960 Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Lumphinnans Fife
36 Barrhead 17,610 Barrhead East Renfrewshire
37 St Andrews 17,580 St Andrews Fife
38 Erskine 17,370 Erskine and Inchinnan Renfrewshire
39 Kilwinning 16,460 Kilwinning North Ayrshire
40 Larkhall 16,200 Ashgill and Larkhall South Lanarkshire
41 Penicuik 16,120 Penicuik Midlothian
42 Helensburgh 15,610 Helensburgh and Rhu Argyll and Bute
43 Broxburn 15,440 Broxburn West Lothian
44 Galashiels 15,040 Galashiels and Tweedbank Scottish Borders
  1. The definition as per National Records of Scotland does not always correspond to other definitions. For example, the Greater Glasgow settlement under NRS stretches as far as Bowling, Kilbarchan and Newton Mearns due the continuous chain of populated postcodes, but does not encompass places as close as Bargeddie, Barrhead, Chryston, Erskine, Kirkintilloch or Uddingston due to small gaps in this chain. Similarly, Cleland, Gowkthrapple and Overtown are not included in the wider NRS 'Motherwell and Wishaw' settlement, while distinct towns such as Bellshill and Viewpark are included. If these gaps were counted, Greater Glasgow would go as far as Ferniegair, Wishaw, Neilston and Bishopton.[3]
  2. Mayfield with Easthouses and Newtongrange

See also


  1. "Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland, Mid-2016" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  2. "Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  3. "NRS – Background Information Settlements and Localities" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  4. "Department of Constitutional Affairs". Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  5. "Perth wins Diamond Jubilee contest to be named seventh Scottish city". BBC News. 14 March 2012.
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