National Records of Scotland

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Revised Population Estimates for 2002 to 2010

Revised Population Estimates for 2002 to 2010

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013
Demography News Release Image

Statistics published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) provide revised mid-year population estimates for 2002 to 2010 taking into account the results from the 2011 Census.

The estimates show that Scotland’s population grew every year from 2001 and reached its highest ever total in 2012. Over the period, the population of Scotland has grown by 249,400 people (4.9 per cent) from 5,064,200 on 30 June 2001 to 5,313,600 on 30 June 2012.

The difference between the old and the new estimates was small. Over the decade the difference was 45,100, only 0.9 per cent of the revised population at Scotland level.

Revising historic population estimates after new census results become available is a key part of the methodology used to produce mid-year estimates. The availability of an improved and continuous back series is important as population estimates are an important input in a wide range of National Statistics. They are also used for calculating rates and performance measures, informing local and national policy, weighting surveys, planning, resource allocation and in modelling the economy.

NRS also published today the Mid-2011 and Mid-2012 Small Area Population Estimates for the 6,505 data zone areas in Scotland based on the 2011 Census and Age Standardised death rates calculated using European Standard Populations to take into account the revised population estimates for 2002 to 2010.

Main findings from the statistics released today

Revised population estimates for 2002 to 2010

  • The mid-year population estimates for Scotland and its Council and NHS Board areas for mid-2002 to mid-2010 have been revised to take into account the 2011 Census. The revised series provides a consistent time-series of population estimates to mid-2011 for Scotland and each Council area and NHS Board.
  • Over the decade the size of these revisions is small (45,100 or 0.9 per cent) in the context of total population for Scotland.
  • Nearly 80 per cent of Council areas and 64 per cent of NHS Boards were revised by fewer than 5,000 people. In 88 per cent of council areas and 86 per cent of NHS Board areas the total population was revised by less than 5 per cent across the decade.
  • The largest upward revisions were in North Lanarkshire (11,000) and Highland (10,000). The largest downward revisions were in Edinburgh (17,000) and Glasgow City (6,000). In percentage terms all the revisions were below 10 per cent.
  • The revised series shows that the population of Scotland has grown every year from mid-2001 to mid-2011, with the largest annual percentage growth in the years to mid-2007 and mid-2011, both at 0.72 per cent.
  • The revised series shows that migration contributed to a larger proportion of population change than the difference between births and deaths in all years between mid-2001 to mid-2011 at Scotland level but this varies by administrative area.
  • The reasons for the differences compared with the previous estimates are partly to do with underestimating the 2004 European Union (EU) accession countries (EU8) and non-EU migration across the decade, imprecision in the census bases and historic processing changes.

Revised Age Standardised Mortality Rates

  • Revisions to age-standardised mortality rates for 2002-2010 have had very little impact. At Scotland level, the percentage change between 2002 and 2012 for a range of causes of death is revised by a maximum of one percentage point.

The full publications, Mid-2002 to Mid-2010 Revision, Small Area Population Estimates and Age Standardised death rates calculated using European Standard Populations are available on the NRS website.