We’ve published figures today on Scotland’s increasing population. Over the last 20 years, the number of people living in Scotland has increased by 312,000 (6%).

The latest estimate of the population is 5,404,700 at 30 June 2016, the highest level recorded. This was an increase of 31,700 (0.6%) people since the previous year.

Scotland's population has gone from 5092,190 in 1996 to 5,404,700 in 2016.
Infographic showing increase in Scotland’s population from 1996-2016.

The increase in Scotland’s population over the last year has been driven by migration. Migration to Scotland exceeded migration from Scotland by 31,700 people. This included a net increase of 22,900 people from overseas and 8,800 from the rest of the UK.

The number of deaths exceeded the number of births by 800, while other changes (such as in the prison population, and changes in the number of armed forces stationed in Scotland) resulted in an increase of 800 people.

Infographic showing that Scotland's population has increased by 31,700 from mid 2015 to mid 2016.
Infographic showing the sources of the increase in Scotland’s population.

The population estimates we’ve published today are used for a variety of purposes including resource allocation and planning of services such as education and health. They are also used for calculating rates and performance measures, informing local and national policy, weighting surveys and in modeling the economy.

If you would like to find out more, the full publication, infographic summary and interactive data visualisation for the 2016 population estimates are available on our website.

William Howes, Assistant Statistician

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