National Records of Scotland

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Population by Country of Birth and Nationality, Scotland, 2019

Population by Country of Birth and Nationality, Scotland, 2019

Last Update: 21 May 2020
Next Update: January 2021

Estimates of the Scottish population by Country of Birth and Nationality from the Annual Population Survey (APS). This provides information on the number of non-UK born
and non-British nationals living in Scotland and each council area. The latest estimates are for the year to end of December 2019. Comparable UK estimates can be found on the ONS website.

Key Findings

  • In 2019, there were estimated to be 388,000 non-British nationals living in Scotland. This accounted for about 1 in 14 people living in Scotland.
  • Of all non-British nationals, 3 in 5 were EU nationals (234,000) and 2 in 5 were non-EU nationals (154,000).
  • The population of EU nationals remained broadly stable over the past two years (change not statistically significant). This followed a period of growth where the number of EU nationals grew at a faster rate than the non-EU population, following the expansion of the EU in 2004. Most recently, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of non-EU nationals between 2018 and 2019, mainly driven by people from outside Europe.
  • Polish remained the most common non-British nationality in Scotland in 2019, with 91,000 nationals (23% of the total non-British population).
  • The council areas with the largest proportion of residents with a non-British nationality were Aberdeen City (18%), City of Edinburgh (16%) and Glasgow City (14%).

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