Scotland’s population at its highest ever

30 Apr 2014 04:34 PM

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

Scotland’s population continues to rise and reached its highest ever total in 2013.

Statistics published yesterday by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that the estimated population of Scotland was 5,327,700 in mid-2013, the highest ever.

The figures, based on 2011 Census data, show a rise of 14,100 people since mid-2012.

Commenting on the statistics, NRS Chief Executive Tim Ellis said:

“Scotland’s population has continued to grow, reaching its highest ever level last year.

“Scotland’s population increased by 14,100 from mid-2012 to mid-2013 primarily because of a net in-flow of approximately 10,000 more people coming to Scotland than leaving although there were also around 900 more births than deaths.

“For the tenth consecutive year more people arrived in Scotland from the rest of the UK and overseas than left to go in the opposite direction. However, for the first time in nine years net migration from the rest of the UK was larger than that from overseas.

“More people arrived in Scotland from the rest of UK and fewer people left to go in the opposite direction, compared with the previous year. In contrast, for the third consecutive year fewer people came to Scotland from overseas than in the preceding year.”

Main findings

• The estimated population of Scotland on 30 June 2013 was 5,327,700, the highest ever and an increase of 14,100 from the previous year.

• The population increased because approximately 910 more people were born than died, and because in-migration exceeded out-migration by approximately 9,960 between mid-2012 and mid-2013. Other changes, such as in armed forces and prisoners, resulted in a gain of approximately 3,230 people.

• Between mid-2012 and mid-2013, approximately 47,700 people came to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and approximately 39,800 left Scotland to go in the opposite direction giving a net migration gain of 7,900.

• Compared with the previous year, net migration to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland has increased by 4,800, as illustrated by the infographic below. This is because of an increase of 2,600 in the number of people coming to Scotland from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a decrease of 2,300 in the number of people moving in the opposite direction.

• Between mid-2012 and mid-2013, 28,200 people came to Scotland from overseas and 26,100 left Scotland to go overseas giving a net migration gain of 2,100. This represents about 1 in 2,500 (0.04 per cent) of the total population.

• In comparison with the previous year (i.e. mid-2011 to mid-2012) net migration to Scotland from overseas fell by 7,600, as illustrated by the infographic above. This is primarily because of a drop of 7,700 in the number of people coming to Scotland from overseas.

Mid-2013 population estimates for Council/NHS Board areas by age and sex

The estimates published yesterday are for Scotland only and are not split by age and sex. Estimates for Scotland and its Council/NHS board areas by single year of age (up to 90+) and sex will be published in June. It was originally intended to publish these estimates yesterday (30 April 2014), however, an issue affecting the Council/NHS Board area population totals and age-sex distributions was identified as needing further work. Therefore the more detailed breakdowns will now be published in June.

Notes To Editors

1. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) was created on 1 April 2011, and incorporates the former General Register Office for Scotland and National Archives of Scotland. It is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population.

2. The report gives estimated population figures for the whole of Scotland. Previous years’ population estimates can be downloaded from Mid Year Population Estimates section of the NRS website.

3. Population estimates for the UK as a whole will be published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in June 2014. This release date is provisional and further details can be found on the ONS website.

4. Information on births and deaths is derived from registration data for the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

5. Information about migrants is derived from three key sources of data:

  • The National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR);
  • The Community Health Index (CHI); and
  • The International Passenger Survey (IPS).

The NHSCR provides information about moves between health board areas within the UK and migration between council areas within Scotland is estimated using data from the CHI. The source of the information about overseas migration is primarily the IPS and is provided by the UK Office for National Statistics. It is based on a small sample for Scotland and hence there is a higher degree of error than with the remainder of the population estimates.

6. The UN definition of an international migrant is someone who changes country of residence for 12 months or more. So short-term seasonal migrants will not be counted in the migration estimates nor in the population estimates.

7. Further statistics on Scotland’s population can be accessed in the Statistics section of the NRS website.

8. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. General information about population statistics can be accessed in the About our Statistics section of the NRS website.

Media enquiries should be directed to: Vicky Crichton 0131 244 2682

Further information about the statistics is available from:

Customer Services

National Records of Scotland

Ladywell House

Ladywell Road

Edinburgh EH12 7TF

Tel: 0131 314 4299