Population projections and depopulation across Scotland

NRS have published the latest Population Projections for Scottish Areas. They are based on the latest mid-2016 population estimates and provide an indication of the future population size and age structure of Scottish areas based on a set of assumptions about future fertility, mortality and migration.

The projections show that overall, the population of Scotland is projected to increase by 3% between 2016 and 2026. The majority of Scotland’s councils – 24 of the 32 councils – are projected to increase in population over the next decade. However, this means a quarter of Scotland’s councils – 8 councils – are projected to decline in population over the same period.

Of the council areas projected to experience a fall in population, Na h-Eileanan Siar (-5%), Inverclyde (-4%) and Argyll and Bute (-3%) are projected to have the largest decreases. The areas projected to decrease in population are concentrated in the west of Scotland. North, East and South Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and West Dunbartonshire are also projected to experience falls in population over the next ten years.

Areas projected to decrease in population over the next 10 years are concentrated in the west of Scotland
Areas projected to experience population decrease

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Scotland’s population is increasing

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.

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