The latest Isle of Arran population is 4,629. This data is from the 2011 census and shows a decrease in population of 429 people from 2001, when the population was 5,058.
Arran is the sixth largest island in Scotland. Arran has a population density of 11.68 people per square kilometre.
There are three small satellite islands just off Arran. Holy Island has a population of 31). The other two islands, Pladda and Hamilton Isle are uninhabited.
There are no towns on Arran, but there are four main settlements on the island. The largest is the village of Lamlash, with a population of 1,100. Others are Brodick (population 621), Whiting Bay (population 620) and Lochranza (population 250).
Arran Population Growth
In common with most other islands in the Hebrides, Arran’s population peaked in the the first half of the 19th century. It’s highest recorded population was 6,600 in 1821.
Highland clearances, where many tenant farmers were evicted by their landlords, took their toll on the island and the population fell to under 5,000 by 1881. Further falls followed until the island’s population reached it’s lowest point of 3,564 in 1971.
Since then, the island’s population has rebounded somewhat, reaching just over 5,000 in 2001. Since then the population has fallen again slightly, to 4,629 in 2011.
Gaelic language on Arran
The Arran dialect of Gaelic was widely spoken on Arran in the 19th century and before. At the start of the 20th century, more than 25% of people on the ligand were classified as Gaelic speakers in the census.
However, the number of Gaelic speakers fell consistently through the 20th century, and the last native speakers of Arran Gaelic died in the 1990s.
The 2011 census recorded that 2% of people living on the island spoke Gaelic, however they were all born elsewhere in Scotland.