This is a list of inhabited islands in Scotland. The National Records of Scotland lists 93 inhabited islands in the 2011 census. They list a further 17 islands that are occasionally inhabited and "are included in the NRS statistical geography for inhabited islands but had no usual residents at the time of either the 2001 or 2011 censuses". There are an additional 5 islands that are either occasionally or permanently inhabited but are not listed by the NRS. It is not explicit why this should be the case - all are 'bridged' islands although some larger bridged islands are included. There are therefore a total of 115 Scottish islands that are occasionally or permanently inhabited.
- F = populated freshwater island
- N = no census figure available
|1||Lewis and Harris||Western Isles||21,031||1||19,918|
|5||Bute||Argyll and Bute||6,498||5||7,228|
|7||Islay||Argyll and Bute||3,228||7||3,457|
|8||Mull||Argyll and Bute||2,800||8||2,667|
|9||South Uist||Western Isles||1,754||9||1,818|
|10||Great Cumbrae||North Ayrshire||1,376||10||1,434|
|12||North Uist||Western Isles||1,254||11||1,271|
|18||Tiree||Argyll and Bute||653||17||770|
|21||Seil||Argyll and Bute||551||21||560|
|29||Great Bernera||Western Isles||252||29||233|
|31||Jura||Argyll and Bute||196||34||188|
|32=||Luing||Argyll and Bute||195||30||212|
|32=||Coll||Argyll and Bute||195||35||164|
|34||Lismore||Argyll and Bute||192||36||146|
|35||Iona||Argyll and Bute||177||40||125|
|37||Gigha||Argyll and Bute||163||43||110|
|44||Colonsay||Argyll and Bute||124||44||108|
|53||Easdale||Argyll and Bute||59||54||58|
|57||Kerrera||Argyll and Bute||34||57||42|
|58||Holy Isle||North Ayrshire||31||68||13|
|65||Grimsay, South East Benbecula||Western Isles||20||65||19|
|68||Ulva||Argyll and Bute||11||67||16|
|70=||Oronsay||Argyll and Bute||8||83||5|
|70=||Inchmurrin (F)||West Dunbartonshire||8||69||13|
|72=||Isle of Ewe||Highland||7||70||12|
|72=||Flodaigh, Benbecula||Western Isles||7||71||11|
|74=||Erraid||Argyll and Bute||6||75||8|
|76||Innis Chonan (F)||Argyll and Bute||5||97||1|
|80=||Inchtavannach (F)||Argyll and Bute||3||86||3|
|80=||Shuna, Slate Islands||Argyll and Bute||3||96||1|
|80=||Holm of Grimbister||Orkney||3||na||N[Note 1]|
|80=||Moncreiffe Island (F)||Perth and Kinross||3||87||3|
|86=||Gometra||Argyll and Bute||2||82||5|
|89=||Danna, Scotland||Argyll and Bute||1||81||5|
|89=||Eilean dà Mhèinn||Argyll and Bute||1||na||0|
Occasionally inhabited islands
The following are classified by the National Records of Scotland as "inhabited islands but had no usual residents at the time of either the 2001 or 2011 censuses."
|1||Kisimul Castle/Caisteal Chiosmuil||Castlebay, Barra||Western Isles|
|2||Castle Stalker/Eilean an Stalcaire||Near Port Appin||Argyll and Bute|
|3||Eilean Horrisdale||Loch Gairloch||Highland|
|4||Eilean Loain||Knapdale||Argyll and Bute|
|5||Eilean na Cille||Near Benbecula||Western Isles|
|6||Ensay||Sound of Harris||Western Isles|
|7||Inch Kenneth||Near Mull||Argyll and Bute|
|8||Inchlonaig (F)||Loch Lomond||Argyll and Bute|
|9||Inchcruin (F)[Note 2]||Loch Lomond||Stirling|
|10||Lamb Holm||Churchill Barriers||Orkney|
The following islands were classified as inhabited in the 2001 census but not in 2011. By implication they are occasionally inhabited.
|Number||Island||Local Authority||2001 Rank||Population
|11||Papa Stronsay||Orkney||72||10||The home of a religious order.|
|12||Lunga||Argyll and Bute||76||7||Has an outward bound centre.|
|13||Davaar Island||Argyll and Bute||88||2||Has a holiday home.|
|14||Eilean Bàn, Lochalsh||Highland||89||2||Has a wildlife centre.|
|15||Inchcolm||Fife||91||2||There is a visitor centre and probably summer habitation.|
|16||Eilean Donan||Highland||94||1||The castle is in regular use.|
|17||Sanda||Argyll and Bute||95||1||The island is for sale and has an occasional caretaker.|
The following islands are not referred to by the National Records of Scotland, although it is clear that they all contain residential buildings in occasional or permanent use. The NRS do not provide a definition of an island, and it may be that some are excluded as they are bridged (although larger bridged islands are included in their listings).
|18||South Walls||Orkney||Was a tidal island until a narrow causeway was constructed over the sandbank connecting it to Hoy.|
|19||Eriska||Argyll and Bute||A bridged tidal island with a hotel.|
|20||Fraoch-eilean||Western Isles||A bridged tidal island adjoining Grimsay, it has numerous dwellings.|
|21||Contin Island (F)||Highland||A bridged river island with a church and a manse.|
|22||Eilean Aigas (F)||Highland||A bridged river island with a substantial mansion.|
|23||Rubh'a Chruidh (off Kerrera)||Argyll and Bute||A tidal island with a large house.[Note 3]|
A University of Notts PhD thesis by Robert Lenfert entitled "Long-Term Continuity and Change within Hebridean and Mainland Scottish Island Dwellings" (downloadable pdf here) has, on page 70, an aerial photo in which the author contrasts "a modern intertidal island dwelling on Grimsay" with two nearby crannogs. He describes it as NE of Loch Hornary, although the image shows a small cluster of buildings NW of there at and the causeway is off Fraoch-eilean, not Grimsay itself. This and the image at right suggest it is occasionally inhabited, at the very least. The aerial photo is much more suggestive of the place's original insularity than either this photograph or the Ordnance Survey map, which does not indicate MHWS reaching the causeway.
- Press reports in March 2010 confirm that at that time the population of the island was at least 2.
- Referred to by the National Records of Scotland (2013) as "Inchruin", which is presumably a typo.
- Offered for sale by Savills at £950,000 in April 2016, the island is described as being 4 acres (1.6 hectares) in extent and the property is called 'Rudh-a-Chruidh'.
- Forewick Holm was added to the inhabited list from June-December 2008 after extensive press coverage of the single inhabitant's activities.
- National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland's Inhabited Islands" (PDF). Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland Release 1C (Part Two) (PDF) (Report). SG/2013/126. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
- (Ross, Calum 3 Mar 2010 "Tory candidate pulls out of race for city seat at general election". Press and Journal. Aberdeen. Retrieved 26 Feb 2012.)
- Rudh-a-Chruidh Savills. Retrieved 24 April 2016.