National Records of Scotland

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2004-based Population Projections for Scottish Areas: Main Points

2004-based Population Projections for Scottish Areas: Main Points

The key points in this paper are:

  • although at the Scotland level the population is projected to rise over the next 15 years before declining slowly, there are differences in this pattern across Scotland with some areas projected to increase in size and others to decrease;

  • most Council areas adjacent, or close to, Edinburgh City are projected to increase in size by 2024, whereas other large urban areas like Aberdeen City, Glasgow City and Dundee City are projected to decline. Other Council areas in the west of Scotland and the Island councils are also projected to decline by 2024;

  • among Council areas, the greatest projected increase in population during the period 2004 to 2024 is in West Lothian at 21 per cent, followed by Scottish Borders with 15 per cent. Aberdeen City and Eilean Siar have the largest projected decreases at -18 per cent and -15 per cent respectively;

  • for NHS Board areas, Borders (+15 per cent) and Lothian (+11 per cent) show the greatest projected increases in population between 2004 and 2024. The largest decreases are projected in Western Isles (-15 per cent) and Shetland (-11 per cent);

  • Scotland’s population is projected to age between 2004 and 2024 and this is true for most administrative areas to a greater or lesser extent. Among Council areas the number of children aged 0-15 is projected to decrease in all areas apart from Scottish Borders (an increase of 7 per cent), West Lothian (+6 per cent) and Edinburgh City (+3 per cent). The projected decline in other areas ranges from -40 per cent in the Shetland Islands to -0.1 per cent in Fife;

  • by 2024, the population of working age [Footnote 1] is projected to increase in 12 Council areas and decrease in 20, increasing the most in West Lothian (+20 per cent) and decreasing the most in Aberdeen City (-22 per cent);

  • the population of pensionable [Footnote 1] age is projected to increase by 2024 in all apart from 2 Council areas (Glasgow City and Dundee City are projected to fall by -13 per cent and -5 per cent respectively);

  • similar projected changes in age structure can also be seen in NHS Board areas.

Footnote

1. Includes the change in women’s state pension age between 2010 and 2020.

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