Today we published Scotland’s latest population estimates, one of our key statistical publications at NRS.

We ask Beth Watson, Assistant Statistician, why these stats are so important and what they tell us about Scotland’s population.

Beth Watson, Assistant Statistician at National Records of Scotland
Beth Watson, Assistant Statistician at National Records of Scotland

How are the stats used?

“It’s so important to have high quality statistics relating to our population. Today’s estimates provide vital information for policy development as well as planning and providing public services across Scotland.

“The stats are used to inform so many aspects of the lives of people in Scotland – informing provision of nurseries and day care, informing housing policy, health care planning, teacher workforce planning to name but a few.”

What do the latest stats tell us?

“The recent stats show that Scotland’s population is now at a record high, with 5.44 million people living here as of 30 June 2018, showing an increase in our population for the ninth consecutive year.

“This increase in population is driven by migration, with more people coming to Scotland than leaving. From July 2017 to June 2018, 10,000 more people have come to Scotland from the rest of the UK than have left in the opposite direction and just under 11,000 more people have moved here from overseas than have moved from Scotland to overseas.

“We found that the population has increased even though we have seen 7,700 more deaths than births across Scotland over this period. The drop in natural change has been more pronounced over the most recent year (July 2017 – June 2018) and can be linked to an increase in winter deaths during this period.”

More information about winter deaths can be found in the Winter Mortality publication on the NRS website.

“Today’s stats also show that the rate of population growth has slowed. This is due to a reduction in overall net migration, an increase in the number of deaths and fewer births in this period.”

For more information about the population of Scotland and its Council and Health Board areas, visit the 2018 population estimates section of our website.

Where is it?What are you looking for?
Tables and figuresThe latest population data in Excel and CSV format
Time series dataTime series population estimates
Open dataPopulation estimates as linked open data
Migration statisticsDetailed tables on migration statistics for the period
covering mid-2017 to mid-2018
NRS council area profilesDemographic profiles of Scottish council areas
Interactive data visualisationSelect and compare population estimates
for Scotland and its council areas

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