Discover our region

Find out what life's like in the Highlands and Islands.

How much do you know about the Highlands and Islands?

There's a lot to discover about our spectacular and diverse region. It's as rich in development opportunities and economic potential as it is in outstanding natural beauty.

Our population

With a population of around 470,000 people, it's home to 21,000 businesses and more than 8,000 voluntary and community groups. Investment in land, sea, and shore has seen businesses flourish across multiple sectors.

Unique opportunities for businesses and communities 

We have a number of growth sectors with global reach. The renewable energy sector makes use of the region’s abundance of natural assets, and the food and drink sector exports produce such as whisky and salmon all over the world. World-class research institutions such as Inverness Campus, the European Marine Science Park, and Orkney Research and Innovation Campus are based here.

Our diverse landscape 

From the country’s highest mountain to its deepest loch, it's an area of dramatic contrasts. World-famous attractions such as Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, and Glencoe bring hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The North Coast 500, a 500-mile road trip around the northernmost coast of mainland Scotland, has become one of the world’s most iconic coastal touring routes. 


Developing skills and creating new opportunities for our workforce is important to us. The University of the Highlands and Islands offers further and higher education at 13 colleges and research institutions, and more than 70 local learning centres. We also have six other Universities with a base in the region.

Highlands and Islands


is the population of our region


of community owned land in Scotland


of the region can access superfast broadband


level of unemployment across the region

Our growth sectors

We have an abundance of natural assets, skills and ambition in the Highlands and Islands. Find out how we're working to create new opportunities.

Explore our growth sectors

Working in partnership

Find out more about the partners we work with.

Who we help