Humbie | Population

By parish, from the General Registrar’s office
1931 556 268M 288F
1951 490 240M 250F
1961 399 196M 203F
1971 392 189M 203F
1981 332 165M 167F
1991 372 197M 175F
2001 342 169M 173F
By Parish, from ELDC By settlement, from ELDC
1991 297
1997 (est.) 389 191M 197F 92

Population figures are difficult to compare, as no two sources extract data in the same way.

The population of the parish fell from 652 in 1921, to 556 in 1931, and 490 in 1951. Subsequent census figures show a continuing fall to 332 in 1981, after which the population rose to 372 in 1991 (after new development in the village), and an estimated 389 in 1997. The Register of Electors for October 2000 listed 270 adults eligible to vote in the parish.

The 1953 survey (p60) identified that of the 489 in the parish, only 376 lived within the Humbie ‘sphere of influence’.

The populations to the north of the Keith Water (whose children were directed to Crossroads school in Ormiston parish and subsequently to Ormiston school), and in particular those in the Duncrahill area which receives its postal and telephone services from Pencaitland, were not considered to be an integral part of the Humbie community. By 2000 all but the Duncrahill area could be considered to be part of the Humbie sphere of influence, although its significance was probably much reduced.

In the 1950s, the parish was almost entirely agriculture-based. Within the ‘sphere of influence’, 87% of the workforce was in local agriculture-related occupations, 3% were in non-agricultural occupations, and 10% travelled outwith the parish to work. With mechanisation of farming, the balance of occupations changed rapidly, to the extent that by the late 1990s, apart from the farmers and farm managers, only two or three full-time agricultural workers lived in the parish, the few others required preferring to commute from nearby towns. Also, although in the 1953 account the Rev Bain (pp254, 255) regretted the transient nature of a large part of the population, the majority were of relatively local origin.

By the 1990s the transient agricultural population had been almost entirely replaced by a more permanent ‘immigrant’ population, mostly moving out from Edinburgh and its surrounding areas to enjoy the greater space, and ‘value for money’ of country properties. The origins of many of this population are much further away, in other parts of Scotland, in England, and from several overseas countries. The local agricultural dialect has been lost from the area.

The Rev Bain also identified (p261) a shortage of accommodation for people retiring from farmwork, who were forced to move away ‘sometimes to great loss to the community’. In the 1990s, for different reasons but with the same loss to the community, a number of older persons moved away from the parish into areas of the Lothians with more suitable accommodation and better facilities for the elderly, where dependence on private transport is not so great.