National Records of Scotland

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Census 2011: Population Estimates for Scotland

Monday, 17 Dec 2012
Demography News Release - Image

The first results from the 2011 Census confirm that Scotland’s population is now at its highest ever level.

The statistics, published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS), provide estimates of the population broken down by age and sex, along with a total population estimate for each local authority area.

Key Points

  • The population of Scotland on Census Day, 27 March 2011, was 5,295,000 – the highest ever.
  • There were 2,567,000 men and 2,728,000 women.
  • The population per square kilometre ranged from nine in Eilean Siar and Highland to 3,395 in Glasgow.

Comparisons with 10 years ago

  • Since the 2001 Census, the population has increased by 233,000 (five per cent). This represents the fastest growth rate between two Census years in the last century.
  • In 2011 there were 293,000 children aged under five, an increase of six per cent from 2001.
  • In the last 10 years, there has been a decrease of 69,000 (11 per cent) in the number of children aged five to 14.
  • The number of people aged 65 and over increased by 85,000 (11 per cent) since 2001 and now represents 17 per cent of the population.
  • There were 230,000 people aged 80 and over in 2011 compared with 193,000 in 2001 (an increase of 19 per cent).
  • Compared to 2001, the population aged 15 to 64 has increased by 200,000 (six per cent). Within this total the population aged 15 to 39 decreased by 32,000 (two per cent), whilst the population amongst older working ages (40 to 64) increased by 233,000 (14 per cent).

Comparisons with 100 years ago

  • Scotland’s population in 2011 was just over half a million (11 per cent) higher than in 1911.
  • The age profile of the population has become older over the last 100 years: the proportion aged under 15 has fallen from 32 per cent to 16 per cent, while the proportion aged 65 and over has increased from 5 per cent to 17 per cent.
  • The 2011 Census was the first ever where the number of people aged 65 and over was higher than the number aged under 15.

Commenting on the results, Acting Registrar General Audrey Robertson said:

“These first results from the Census confirm the upward trend in the size of Scotland’s population in recent years. At 5,295,000, the population is now the highest ever recorded. This increase is partly because there have been more births than deaths, but mainly because more people have moved to Scotland than have left.”

The full publication, 2011 Census: First Results on Population Estimates for Scotland - Release 1A and relevant data can be found on the Scotland's Census website.



Jack and Sophie are Scotland's Top Baby Names

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012
Image of a Sleeping Baby

Jack and Sophie were the most popular baby names in 2012, National Records of Scotland announced today.

New data shows Jack remains the top boys’ name with Lewis in second place – both for a fifth consecutive year – and Sophie is the most popular girls’ name for the eighth year in a row.

Between them, Jack and Lewis have been the top two boys’ names for the past 14 consecutive years. Jack has been number one (with Lewis second) in 10 of those years, and Lewis has been top (with Jack second) for the other four.

Riley is the only new entrant to the boys' top ten, rising 11 places to third. James, Logan and Daniel are fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Ethan, Harry, Alexander and Oliver make up the rest of the boys' top ten.

Max, Tyler, Alfie, Mason and Liam have moved into the top 20. Those falling down the ranking include Ryan, Cameron, Matthew, Aiden and Jayden.

Emily climbed four places to second in this year’s list. Olivia, Ava, Lucy and Isla are third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Lily has fallen from second to seventh. Jessica, Amelia and Mia complete the girls’ top ten. Erin, Kayla, Abbie and Megan are less popular than last year.

National Records of Scotland registered the births of around 27,700 boys and 26,400 girls in the first 11 months of 2012. The top 50 boys’ first names accounted for 44 per cent of all those registered and the top 50 girls’ first names accounted for 41 per cent of the registrations.

Parents chose almost 7,400 different first forenames for their children and nearly 4,800 of these were unique.

Big climbers in the 2012 baby name charts include:

  • Riley (up 11 places to third)
  • Max (up 15 places to 11th)
  • Tyler (up 20 places to 12th)
  • Mason (up 13 places to 18th)
  • Harris (up 20 places to 29th)
  • Amelia (up 20 places to ninth)
  • Millie (up seven places to 11th)
  • Ella (up eight places to joint 25th)
  • Poppy (up 11 places to 34th)
  • Orla (up 19 places to 36th)

The full publication, Babies' First Names 2012, is available on the NRS website

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