National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Just over 7% of Scotland's population are non-British nationals

Just over 7% of Scotland's population are non-British nationals

Thursday, 25 Nov 2021
Demographic Statistics News Release Image

National Records of Scotland published new figures today which estimate that in the year to mid-2021, 7.4% of Scotland’s population (397,000 people) were non-British nationals.

58% of non-British nationals living in Scotland in the year to mid-2021 were from the EU.

The council areas with the largest proportion of residents with a non-British nationality were City of Edinburgh (20%), Aberdeen City (18%), Dundee City (12%), and Glasgow City (12%).

The full publication ‘Population by Country of Birth and Nationality, Scotland, July 2020 to June 2021’ can be accessed on the NRS website. This includes information on the number of non-British nationals and non-UK born people living in Scotland and each council area. 


These estimates are sourced from the Annual Population Survey (APS) so there is sampling variability and a degree of uncertainty with the results.

A new weighting method has been introduced to the data used in this publication. For this reason breakdowns of population estimates below the EU and non-EU level are less reliable. More information can be found in the main report and metadata file on this website.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have also today published estimates for Population by Country of Birth and Nationality for the UK as a whole for the year to mid-2021. These are available on the ONS website.

This publication provides estimates of the number of non-British nationals and the non-UK born population living in Scotland in the year to mid-2021. They are not directly comparable with estimates of migration flows. For statistics relating to migration flows (the number of people moving to or from Scotland over a period of time) please visit the NRS migration flows tables.

For statistics and commentary on the population as a whole, National Records of Scotland’s mid-year population estimates for mid-2020 were published on 25 June 2021, and contain information about all aspects of population change, including migration.

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Donna Green
NRS Communications
Tel: 07949 441311
Email: [email protected]

Further information about the statistics is available from:
NRS Customer Services
Email: [email protected]