Social aspects of living in Dundee

With a population of just over 142,000 Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland by population. It covers an area of 6300 hectares giving a population density of nearly 23 people per hectare, which is high for Scotland where, as a country, the average population density is less than 1 person per hectare. The ratio of males to females in Dundee is approximately 47% to 53% compared to the Scottish national statistics figure of 48% to 52%. The proportion of 16 to 24 year olds (15%) living in Dundee is higher than the average national figure for Scotland, which is less than 12%. In part this is due to the university student population of the city inflating that age groups proportion of the city population. The age group forming the largest population by age is the 25 to 44 year old one who form 26% of the population, which is lower than the national average of 28%.

According to Scottish Government figures the housing profile of Dundee shows that 54% of the housing in the city is owned, compared to 63% nationally. Also, more people rent a council house in Dundee, 24%, than the national average of 22%. With a total of almost 67,000 dwellings in the city only 11% are detached houses or bungalows, compared to over 20% nationally. The number of terraced houses in the city is 8%, less than the national average which is 12%. However, the number of semi-detached houses is roughly in line with the national figure. A relatively high proportion, 49%, of Dundee residents live in flats or maisonettes, 16% higher than nationally.

In terms of household composition the largest group in Dundee are those people that are single and live on their own, 38% of the population. The figure for Scotland as a whole is 33%. Correspondingly the percentage of married couples in Dundee is 36%, 9% lower than the national one. Of those married couples in Dundee about one third have dependent children, which is again lower than the national average. Socio-economically the residents of Dundee would seem to have some catching up to do with the rest of the country. The city has 5% fewer social grade A, B and C1 residents than the national average, but 5% more of the social grade E - lowest grade workers and unemployed - than the rest of Scotland. Having said that taken on their own, the largest group of people in Dundee by socio-economic standing is the C1 group - at 25%. In 2005 the short term unemployment rate in Dundee was one third higher than the national one at 4.2%. However, the long term unemployment figure for the city is broadly in line with the national figure. According to data gathered in 2004, Dundee is Scotland’s third most deprived area - behind Glasgow City and Inverclyde.

Regarding the health of Dundee residents, 11% of the city’s residents consider themselves not to be in good health, the national average for this factor is 10%. Dundee residents also have a lower life expectancy than the average Scottish person. In Dundee a male can expect to live to 73 years and a female to 78 years, whereas, the figures for Scotland as a nation are 74 and 79. Both the city’s and the nation’s life expectancy figures are lower than for other parts of the UK. The largest single cause of death in Dundee is cancer, accounting for 36% of all deaths. The proportion of people dying from heart disease and strokes is about 20%.

In terms of law and order in Dundee, it falls under the policing of the Tayside force. Based on the recorded crime figures for 2005-2006, Dundee is in the second worst area of Scotland for crime and offences committed per 10,000 head of population. However, a large proportion of those crimes were motor vehicle offences and, proportionally at least, Dundee has lower rates of vandalism and dishonesty than some other areas of Scotland.
The benchmark qualification for Scottish schools is the attainment of level 5 in at least 5 subjects, or better, in the Scottish Standard Grade examinations. These exams are taken in the Scottish Secondary year 4 (S4) - 16 years of age.  In recent years Dundee secondary schools have not performed as well as the Scottish average. In 2006 only 23% of pupils attained the benchmark level in the city, compared to a national average of 35%.

Dundee has two universities. The oldest one is Dundee University, which was originally established as a University College of St Andrews University in 1881, it was subsequently granted its own charter in 1967. The main campus is to the west of the city centre, but some departments of the university are located outside of the city itself. The University of Abertay was established in 1994, growing out of the renowned Dundee Institute of Technology. The ‘Good Universities Guide’ (GUG) lists Dundee University as 45th in its top 100 of British universities and Abertay at 89th.

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