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GROS Mid-2008 Population Estimates Scotland Population estimates by sex, age and administrative area

1. Background

1.1 This paper summarises the Registrar General for Scotland’s mid-2008 estimates of the population of Scotland and its administrative areas. Some relevant historical information and a table giving land areas and population densities are also presented.

1.2 These population estimates are produced using the demographic cohort component method. The estimates are based on the 2001 Census. Each year the population is ‘aged on’ one year (that is, the 0 year olds become 1 year olds, and so on), the number of births in the year are added, the number of deaths subtracted and adjustments are made for estimated migration and other changes in special populations. It is important to remember that while the number of births and deaths are considered to be almost complete, there is no comprehensive source of migration data for moves within Scotland, or to and from the rest of the UK and the rest of the world. Estimates of migration are made using the best proxy sources available including health service patient registrations and survey information. Therefore, any error in the estimates is likely to be due to the migration estimates, particularly the international estimates. The method used to estimate migration is described in Section 6.

1.3 The Scottish Government has set a target to match average European (EU15) population growth over the period from 2007 to 2017. The population estimates in this publication will be used to measure how Scotland performs against this target. More details can be found on the Scotland Performs website at

1.4 Population estimates are used for a variety of different purposes including resource allocation and planning of services such as education and health.

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