National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Revised Mid-year Population Estimates 2003-2006

Revised Mid-year Population Estimates 2003-2006

April 2008

The population estimates for the years 2003 to 2006 were revised in July 2007 after we carried out a review of our methodology. The revisions affect six Council areas only. The Council areas affected are Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Moray, Dundee City and Perth & Kinross. The revisions do not affect NHS Board areas. Our previously published data has been revised for each year and the data can be accessed through the links below:

Further Details

During the review of our methodology we noted that in the Community Health Index (CHI) – the data source used to distribute migrants between council areas - the ratio of migrants from overseas compared with cross-border was too low in some health board areas (Grampian, Tayside, Highland, Shetland and Orkney). This resulted in the allocation of migrants within these health boards, inadequately reflecting the destination of international migrants. The issue arose due to different methods of coding used by Practitioner Services Divisions to identify international migrants in these areas, which were not reflected in the processing of the CHI by National Records of Scotland (NRS). This processing error had occurred since 2003.

The error impacts on the six Councils areas of Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Moray and Perth & Kinross. Since Shetland, Orkney and Highland [footnote 1] were Council areas as well as NHS board areas, their mid-year population estimates were not affected.

A summary of the impact of these revisions is shown in the table below.

Impact of revisions* population estimates, 2003-2006

Council area





Aberdeen City
Dundee City
Perth & Kinross





*For example, the revised population of Aberdeen City in 2006 is 4,790 greater than the originally published, unrevised figure.

The revised and un-revised mid-year population estimates for affected Council areas, 2003-2006 Excel table, shows the comparison between revised and unrevised population estimates for the affected council areas.

Unrevised data is available on request from our Statistics Customer Services.
E-mail: [email protected].

Further Revisions

A number of other publications were affected by this error. Revised versions of these publications have been placed on this website. The affected publications in question are:

  • 2003 Small Area Population Estimates, Scotland
  • 2004 Small Area Population Estimates, Scotland
  • 2005 Small Area Population Estimates, Scotland
  • 2004-based Population Projections for Scottish Areas
  • Household Projections for Scotland, 2004-based
  • Life Expectancy for Administrative Areas within Scotland, 2002-2004
  • Life Expectancy for Administrative Areas within Scotland, 2003-2005

1.    On 31st March 2006 NHS Argyll & Clyde was split between Greater Glasgow and Highland resulting in two new NHS Board areas named Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Highland. This refers to the old area which matched the Highland Council area.

All statistical publications