According to the 2011 census, the population of Mull was 2,990, making it the eighth most populous island in Scotland. The island’s population has been gradually increasing and in 2020 was estimated to be 3,000.
The Isle of Mull is the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides, a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland. It covers an area of 875.35 square kilometres (337.97 square miles) and has a coastline of 480 kilometres (300 miles). It is the sixth largest island by area in the British Isles.
The population density of Mull is 3.2 people per square kilometre (8.3 per square mile), which is low compared to the Scottish average of 68.9 (178.4). This reflects the rural and sparsely populated nature of the island, which has large areas of moorland, mountains, and forests.
Largest Towns and Villages on Mull
The majority of the population lives in the main town of Tobermory, which is located on the north-east coast of the island. Tobermory was founded in 1788 as a fishing village and has a colourful waterfront with shops, cafes, and a distillery. It is also famous for being the setting of the BBC children’s programme Balamory.
Other settlements on the island include Salen, Dervaig, Calgary, Craignure, Lochdon, Lochbuie, Bunessan, Pennyghael, Uisken, and Fionnphort.
The Isle of Mull has a diverse and rich cultural heritage, influenced by its history, geography, and environment. The island has been inhabited since the Mesolithic period, and has seen the arrival and departure of various peoples, such as the Celts, the Norse, the Scots, and the English.
The island has a strong Gaelic identity, as it was part of the medieval Kingdom of the Isles, which was ruled by the Norse-Gaelic Lords of the Isles until the 15th century. Gaelic language and culture flourished on Mull until the 18th and 19th centuries, when the Highland Clearances, the decline of the clan system, and the spread of English reduced its influence.
According to the 2011 census, 11.4% of the population aged 3 and over could speak Gaelic, 8.2% could read Gaelic, 6.9% could write Gaelic, and 9.8% could understand Gaelic. This is significantly higher than the Scottish average.
There are several initiatives and organisations that promote and support the Gaelic language and culture on Mull, such as the Mull and Iona Gaelic Partnership, the Dalriada Gaelic dialect revitalisation project, the Furan Gaelic Centre, and the An Comunn Gàidhealach branch. There are also Gaelic-medium education options, Gaelic book clubs, Gaelic cafes, and Gaelic festivals and events on the island.
Largest Towns and Villages
The following table shows the largest towns and villages on the Isle of Mull, based on the 2011 census data.
|Town / Village