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 Changing Population

National Records of Scotland (NRS) today publishesScotland’s Population 2016 – the Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends’, alongside an infographic booklet which summarises the key trends in Scotland’s population.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said:

“The population of Scotland is at its highest ever at 5.4 million. It has grown by 5% over the last 10 years. The majority of this growth has been due to migration as natural change (births minus deaths) has not contributed significantly to Scotland’s population growth.

“Most recently, 31,700 more people came to Scotland than left (net migration over the year to 30 June 2016) – made up of a net gain of 22,900 people from overseas and 8,800 people from the rest of the UK. The majority of migrants to Scotland are young, with 52% aged 18 to 32 years.

“Overall Scotland’s population has continued to age over the past decade, with the greatest increases in the population in the older age groups. Over the next 25 years, there is a projected increase of 28% in the number of pensioners in Scotland, compared to an increase of just 1% in the number of people of working age. This has implications for funding allocations, tax revenues, pensions, education, health and social care provision.”

 

Scotland’s population is projected to age
Scotland’s population is projected to age

 The report is a compendium that brings together key demographic information from a range of publications produced by NRS. It has been produced every year since 1855. It covers population, births, deaths, life expectancy, migration, marriages and civil partnerships, adoptions, households and housing.

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