Scotland's Population 2019
The Registrar General's Annual Review of
- Up to Sunday 27 September 2020, there were 4,257 deaths registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate.
- Adjusting for age, people in the most deprived areas were twice as likely to die with COVID than those living in the least deprived areas.
- Mortality rates were over four times higher in large urban areas than in remote rural areas.
- Males were significantly more likely to die with COVID-19 than females once age was taken into account. Also, the average age at death for those who died with COVID-19 was 79 for males and 84 for females.
- 47% of COVID-19 deaths registered to date occurred in hospitals. Another 46% of deaths took place in care homes and 7% at home or non-institutional settings.
- Adjusting for age and population, Scotland had the third highest excess death rate in Europe for COVID-19.
Deaths involving COVID-19
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- Scotland's population is at a record high of 5.46 million as of mid-2019. The rate of population growth increased in the year to mid-2019 following two years of slowed growth.
- Population growth in Scotland is driven by migration. There is no natural growth as deaths have outnumbered births for the fifth consecutive year.
- Scotland’s population is ageing. The number of older people in Scotland has been increasing for decades and continues to do so.
- The population of Scotland as a whole is projected to continue to grow, but this isn’t the case in all parts of the country. It is projected that by mid-2028 more council areas will experience population decline than in previous years. Areas projected to see population decline are concentrated mainly in the west and south-west of the country.
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- There were just under 50,000 births recorded in 2019 - the lowest number since records began in 1855.
- Scotland's total fertility rate is the lowest in the UK. Since 2008, fertility rates have been declining in all UK countries, with Scotland’s falling at the fastest rate. The lowest total fertility rates were found in major cities.
- In 2019, 73% of births in Scotland were to mothers born in Scotland. A further 9% were to mothers born elsewhere in the UK.
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- Scotland has consistently had the highest rate of age-standardised mortality of all UK countries. The rate has improved steadily over the last few decades, but has been stalling in recent years.
- Over the last 4 decades, death rates in most age groups have been declining. However, since 2011, mortality among 45 to 59 year old males has increased and there has been very little change for females in this age group.
- 2019 saw the lowest ever recorded rate of stillbirths in Scotland. Both stillbirths and infant death rates have fallen greatly since the Second World War, with infant death rates in particular improving markedly in the last 30 years.
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- Life expectancy in Scotland has increased but improvements have stalled in recent years. In Scotland in 2017-2019, life expectancy at birth was 77.1 years for males and 81.1 years for females. There was only a very marginal increase (less than 0.1 years) for both males and females in the last year.
- The gap in life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas was 13.3 years for males and 10.0 years for females.
- Since the beginning of the 1980s, life expectancy at birth has increased by 8 years for males and just over 5 years for females.
- Life expectancy in Scotland has been lower than any other UK country since the beginning of the 1980s. The gap between Scottish life expectancy and the UK average was 1.9 years for females and 2.2 years for males in 2017-2019.
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- Migration has been the main driver of population growth in Scotland for the past 19 years.
- In the year to mid-2019, 30,200 more people moved to Scotland than left. This is an increase in net migration following two years of lower levels.
- In 2019, there were approximately 388,000 non-British nationals living in Scotland, accounting for 7% of the population. Of these 388,000 people, 60% were EU nationals and 40% were non-EU nationals.
- Following travel restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been widespread decline in international air travel. At Scottish airports, there was a reduction of over 98% in monthly passenger arrivals between April to June 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.
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- The number of marriages in Scotland in 2019 was just over 26,000, the lowest number since 1881. This continues the long-term downward trend and marks a decrease of a third in the last 50 years.
- There are just under 1,000 same-sex marriages taking place each year, and the number of civil partnerships is around 70 to 80 a year.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships
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- There were 472 adoptions recorded in 2019. This was around half the number recorded per year in the mid-1980s, and less than a quarter of the number recorded in the late 1960s.
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- The number of households is growing at a faster rate than the population. This is due to increasingly smaller household sizes. One person households have become the most common type of household in recent years.
Households and Housing
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- The COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, has had a very significant effect on the registration of births, deaths and marriages since March 2020. However, remote registration has been very successful, with similar levels of accuracy for death registrations.
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