Economic Profile Economic Profile

Orkney's Economic Profile

Home to an enterprising and resourceful community, Orkney enjoys a very high economic activity rate.

Development work underway at Lyness in Orkney
Development work underway at Lyness in Orkney

The Orkney economy has had a traditional reliance on agriculture and fishing. However, over the last 20 years there has been a growth in employment in a number of economic sectors including manufacturing, tourism, food processing and, more recently, renewable energy.

In 2011, the population of Orkney was 21,349. This represents an increase of 10.9% since 2001 and compares to a 7.5% increase overall in the Highlands and Islands and 4.6% increase in Scotland.

The 2015/16 Orkney Economic Review contains information on economic activity in the islands, the labour market, population and the main industry sectors.

A view of Kirkwall with agricultural land in the foreground
A view of Kirkwall with agricultural land in the foreground

Orkney house prices have been rising in recent years, although not at the same rate as the rest of the country. The latest average house price for Orkney is £123,000, compared to £155,000 in the rest of the Highlands and Islands.