Scarp was one of several Scottish islands, including St Kilda and Handa, where all the men of the island would gather every morning in a so-called 'parliament', to agree the work to be done on that day. Such meetings would sometimes last for many hours, and on these occasions no work would be done, except by the women of the island.
Crofting was the way of life on the island, mainly comprising sheep and dairy cattle rearing and fishing, in latter years principally lobster fishing, which provided an income for around 12 families.
Islanders were deeply religious and a Church of Scotland Mission House was the focal point for Sunday worship and weekly prayer meetings.
The 1950s and 1960s saw a further decline in the island's population. The closure of the primary school in 1967 and the post office in 1968 were final blows and by the time of the 1971 census the population had dwindled to 12. By the end of 1971, the last permanent inhabitants of Scarp had moved to Harris. However, a few houses on the island are still in occasional use as private holiday homes.