Scotland's population increase and movement from 1830-1930

The population incresed fromm 1830-1930. This was due to a decrease in the death rate, an increase in the birth rate and immigration. There was also internal movement from the country to the cities.


A decrease in the death rate

From 1830-1930 the death rate decreased which caused the population in Scotland to increase.

The decrease in the death rate had many factors:

  • better medical knowledge and practices eg vaccines against smallpox
  • cleaner hospitals
  • better housing
  • a cleaner water supply (helped stop the spread of disease)
  • hygiene improvements eg soap amd easy to wash clothes reduced the spread of germs
  • healthier diets caused people to live longer
  • Government and local authority measures
    • adiquite sewage, drainage and water supplies had to be provided
    • infectious diseases, such as cholera, had to be reported
    • streets had to be paved and lit
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An increase in the birth rate

From 1830-1930 the Scotland's birth rate increased and caused the population of Scotland to increase.

This is because people married younger so started hving children younger. People had many children to work in mines, on farms etc.

*note-after laws were introduced to stop children working in mines and more children survived into adulthood, the birth rate decreased as poeple could not afford to keep having children.

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From 1830-1930 the immigration rate in Scotland increased causing the population to increase.

This was due to the Irish coming in to the country because:

  • there was a lack of food due to the potato famine
  • there was a lack of jobs also due to the potato famine
  • there was a lot of poverty in Ireland
  • Scotland was close to Ireland
  • there was seasonal work in Scotland (mainly agriculture)
  • some were weavers whose jobs had been overtaken by machinery and they came to look for work such as in Dundee jute mills
  • there was also jobs available in coal mines, docks and building the railways (navvies)
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The effect of Irish immigration

The Irish settled in towns and cities such as:

  • Glasgow and Lanarkshire
  • Dundee
  • Liverpool and Manchester
  • Cardif

The Irish and Scottish did not often get on:

  • The Irish were desperate and were willing to work for lower pay so Scots were often sacked as Irish were cheaper
  • Most Irish were Catholic and most Scots were Protestants

Were the Irish better off here?

  • Hostility and poverty meant Irish mainly congregated to slums of cities
  • Many had to work unpleasant or high risk jobs that Scots were unwilling to do
  • But poverty was not as bad in Scotland so survival was more likely
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From 1830-1930 there was much movement in Scotland from the country to towns and cities.

This was due many factors:

  • improved farming methods and machinery left many people without jobs and they had to move to towns and cities to find jobs
  • the increased population caused people to move to towns and cities to search for jobs
  • enclosures forced families to leave the countryside
  • poverty forced hundreds of Scots to leave the highlands
  • The highland clearances forced Scots to either emmigrate or move to the central belt
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Highland clearances

Between 1800 and 1860, tens of thousands of Highlanders were evicted from their homes and forced to leave the place of their birth.

  • some emmigrated to Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • many went to search for work in growing industrail towns and cities of Scotland
  • others were forced to settle in small coastal villages developed by landowners for the uprooted population of the interior areas
  • a way of life with its own culture and economy was threatened

This was named the Highland Clearances

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Causes of the clearances

  • In some areas there was pressure on the land because the population had increased and farming profits had decreased
  • There was a wet climate and poor soil quality which meant crop was unprofitable, tenants could then not pay the high rent
  • Landowners saw a higher profit from sheep farming 
  • Disease in the potatoes (1846) caused poverty and landowners evicted tenants instead of paying to support them
  • Some landowners introduced sporting estates which required fewer families to maintain (sporting holidays had become popular with the wealthy following the introduction of the railways)
  • Landowners sometimes burnt their tenants homes, whether they were willing to leave or not, forcing them to move
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Push and pull factors-why people let the countrysi

People moved from the country for differant reasons. These can be split into PUSH factors (why people HAD to leave) and PULL factors (what made people WANT to leave.


  • they lost their land to make way for bigger farms (enclosures)
  • The Highland Clearances- tenants were forcefully evicted
  • there were less jobs due to new farming methods and machinery


  • towns offered a more entertaining lifestyle
  • there were better job prospects
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