Scotland's Population at its Highest Ever

Scotland's Population at its Highest Ever

Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014
Demography News Release - Image

Scotland’s population continues to rise and reached its highest ever total in 2013.

The statistics published below by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that the estimated population of Scotland was 5,327,700 in mid-2013, the highest ever.

The figures, based on 2011 Census data, show a rise of 14,100 people since mid-2012.

Commenting on the statistics, NRS Chief Executive Tim Ellis said:

“Scotland’s population has continued to grow, reaching its highest ever level last year.

“Scotland’s population increased by 14,100 from mid-2012 to mid-2013 primarily because of a net in-flow of approximately 10,000 more people coming to Scotland than leaving although there were also around 900 more births than deaths.

“For the tenth consecutive year more people arrived in Scotland from the rest of the UK and overseas than left to go in the opposite direction. However, for the first time in nine years net migration from the rest of the UK was larger than that from overseas.

“More people arrived in Scotland from the rest of UK and fewer people left to go in the opposite direction, compared with the previous year. In contrast, for the third consecutive year fewer people came to Scotland from overseas than in the preceding year.”

Main findings

  • The estimated population of Scotland on 30 June 2013 was 5,327,700, the highest ever and an increase of 14,100 from the previous year.
  • The population increased because approximately 910 more people were born than died, and because in-migration exceeded out-migration by approximately 9,960 between mid-2012 and mid-2013. Other changes, such as in armed forces and prisoners, resulted in a gain of approximately 3,230 people.
  • Between mid-2012 and mid-2013, approximately 47,700 people came to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and approximately 39,800 left Scotland to go in the opposite direction giving a net migration gain of 7,900.
  • Compared with the previous year, net migration to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland has increased by 4,800, as illustrated by the infographic below. This is because of an increase of 2,600 in the number of people coming to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a decrease of 2,300 in the number of people moving in the opposite direction.

 

Net migration (inflow minus outflow) to Scotland in thousands

 

  • Between mid-2012 and mid-2013, 28,200 people came to Scotland from overseas and 26,100 left Scotland to go overseas giving a net migration gain of 2,100. This represents about 1 in 2,500 (0.04 per cent) of the total population.
  • In comparison with the previous year (i.e. mid-2011 to mid-2012) net migration to Scotland from overseas fell by 7,600, as illustrated by the infographic above. This is primarily because of a drop of 7,700 in the number of people coming to Scotland from overseas.

Mid-2013 population estimates for Council/NHS Board areas by age and sex

The estimates published today are for Scotland only and are not split by age and sex. Estimates for Scotland and its Council/NHS board areas by single year of age (up to 90+) and sex will be published in June. It was originally intended to publish these estimates today (30 April 2014), however, an issue affecting the Council/NHS Board area population totals and age-sex distributions was identified as needing further work. Therefore the more detailed breakdowns will now be published in June.

Further information on all our future publications is available on the NRS website.

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