National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Mid-2020 Population Estimates Scotland

Mid-2020 Population Estimates Scotland

Last update: 25 June 2021National Statistics Icon
Next update: TBC

Key Findings:

  • Scotland’s population was estimated to be 5,466,000 on 30 June 2020 (referred to as mid-2020). The population increased by 2,700 people (0.05%) in the year to mid-2020, the slowest growth since the year to mid-2003. The average growth in the 5 years to mid-2019 was around 23,000 people (0.43%).
  • There were 63,100 deaths and 48,700 births in the year ending mid-2020. There were 14,500 more deaths than births, more deaths than births for the sixth year running and the largest natural decrease on record.
  • There were 2,000 (4%) fewer births than the previous year, a decrease in line with trends seen in previous years. The number of deaths was 6,900 (12%) more than the previous year, which is a larger increase than previous years.
  • Migration was the main driver of population growth, with 16,900 more people moving to Scotland than leaving in the year to mid-2020; +9,000 from the rest of the UK and +7,900 from overseas. This was lower than in recent years.
  • Population change varies across Scotland. Around two thirds of council areas (20 out of 32) experienced population decline, with 12 areas seeing population growth in the last year. Areas facing the greatest population decline were mainly in the west of the country.
  • Most council areas (25 out of 32) saw more people move to the area than leave in the year to mid-2020. Only one council area, Midlothian, had more births than deaths over the same period.

Migration Statistics
Detailed migration statistics providing information on the migration component of population change for Scotland, council areas and health boards.

Open Data
The mid-2020 population estimates will be available as open data within one month of publishing on the website.

Statistical Service in Scotland

Contact Us 

Please get in touch if you need any further information, or have any suggestions for improvement.

E-mail: [email protected]

Lead Statistician: Esther Roughsedge

For media enquiries, please contact [email protected] 

All statistical publications