National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Mid-2021 Population Estimates Scotland

Mid-2021 Population Estimates Scotland

Last update: 13 July 2022National Statistics Icon
Next update: Winter 2023/24

Correction  - 3 August 2022
An error was found in the migration data in Table 3. Migration figures for 2016-17 were also used for 2015-16, leading to incorrect figures for the 2011-2021 components of migration. This also affected the “Components of change” tab in the interactive visualisation. Corrections have been made to Table 3 and the interactive visualisation.

Key Findings:

  • Scotland’s population was estimated to be 5,479,900 at mid-2021 (30 June 2021).
  • The population increased by 13,900 people (0.25%) in the year to mid-2021. The average annual growth in the 5 years before the pandemic was higher than this, at around 23,100 people (0.43%).
  • There have been more deaths than births for the last seven years. In the latest year, deaths outnumbered births by the largest amount on record.
  • Migration was the main driver of population growth over the latest year. More people moved to Scotland than left, as has been the case for the last two decades.
  • The pattern of population change was different to previous years. In the latest year, the population of the largest cities fell, which was a change from growth in previous years. The greatest population growth was in council areas around Edinburgh. In addition, many rural areas which had previously had falling populations saw an increase in population over the latest year.

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-2021 population estimates will be available as open data within one month of publishing on the website.

Statistical Service in Scotland

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