Population of Durness

A census taken in 1724 shows the numbers did not exceed one thousand. The population increased slowly during the 18th century. Although some families had emigrated to North America and some had gone to work in the cotton mills in south Scotland. Healthcare was improving. Higher numbers of children were surviving thanks to Dr. Dunnet from Thurso who had started inoculating for smallpox in 1760.

In 1772, the "Adventure" put into Loch Eriboll taking two hundred people to South Carolina.

In 1790, the population was 1182.

In 1801: 1208, people lived in scattered tiny clachans in huts of turf or dry stone, plastered on the inside with clay. They raised black cattle and goats, grew potatoes and inferior oats, used their wooden plough to break the earth, brewed rough beer and distilled raw whisky.

In 1811, the population was 1155.

In 1815 from thirty to forty families emigrated to America.

Year      Number                    Year      Number

1821:    1004                          1921:     610

1831:    1153                          1931:     529

1834:    1180   (206 families) 1951:     413

1841:    1109                          1971:     418

1861:    1109                       1981:     338

1871:    1049

1881:     987

1891:     960

1901:     903 (870)


The 1951 census revealed there were forty nine more males than females.

1997's population of about three hundred and fifty in one hundred and fifty households, live in the main in a group of townships strung along the A838.