New research shows surge in number of Scots describing themselves as British
THE NUMBER of people living in Scotland who describe themselves as British has risen by 50 per cent over the past decade, while the number of Scottish people has hit a record low, according to research.
New analysis comparing the latest results of the Scottish Household Survey with the same survey conducted in 2001 reveals a steady slide in the number of people who regard themselves as Scottish, though they still represent a large majority.
Last month, the survey showed that four-fifths of respondents (80.3 per cent) gave their ethnicity as Scottish in 2011 and one in eight (12.6 per cent) said they are British.
The latest results suggest a 1 per cent drop in Scottish respondents in a year, down from 81.5 per cent in 2010 and down nearly 10 per cent over a decade, from 88.1 per cent in 2001.
Last year’s figure represents the lowest number of Scottish respondents since the survey began in 1999.
Respondents who say they are British have risen in number by 7 per cent in a year, up from 11.7 per cent in 2010 and up 50 per cent over a decade, from 8.4 per cent in 2001. A Scottish Government spokesman said: “More than 80 per cent of people in the survey identified themselves as Scottish.
“Scotland is a nation with a diverse mix of identities, faiths and cultures – all of which are equally valued and all of which will continue to flourish in an independent country.”
Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson said: “Lots of Scots identify with being Scottish and British, and the SNP struggle to understand this. The great thing with being British is that you can have that dual identity and most of us are perfectly comfortable with this.
“The referendum will be decided not on identity politics but on the issues that matter.
“I believe that we are all stronger and better together.”
Conservative constitution spokesman David McLetchie said: “These figures demonstrate that people in Scotland are part and parcel of an integrated British society and have no desire to deem their families who live elsewhere in the UK as foreigners.”
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