The outlying islands of Scotland are not part of the larger archipelagos and island groups of Scotland—the Hebrides, the Northern Isles or the Islands of the Forth and Clyde estuaries. None of these islands are currently inhabited and few of them ever were, although Hirta was occupied from the Neolithic age until 1930 and Stroma was permanently occupied until the 1970s and thereafter by lighthouse keepers and their families until 1996. Several other outlying islands have lighthouses, none of which is still staffed.
In this list, an island is defined as "land that is surrounded by seawater on a daily basis, but not necessarily at all stages of the tide, excluding human devices such as bridges and causeways". A complication relating to membership of this list is that there are various descriptions of the scope of the Hebrides, the large group of islands that lie off Scotland's west coast. The Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland describes the Inner Hebrides as lying "east of The Minch", which would include any and all offshore islands. There are various islands that lie in the sea lochs such as Eilean Bàn and Eilean Donan that might not ordinarily be described as "Hebridean" but no formal definitions exist and for simplicity they are included in the List of Inner Hebrides rather than here.