Migration lifts Scots population to record 5.42m

Scotland’s population has increased for the for the eighth year running and now stands at a record high of 5.42 million, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The figures detail Scotland’s population as at June 30, 2017 — and show the population continuing to age, with  19% aged 65 and over, compared to 16% in 2007.

“Positive net migration is the reason Scotland’s population increased, with 23,900 more people coming to Scotland than leaving (from both overseas and the rest of the UK) over the year to mid-2017,” said the Scottish government.

“In contrast, natural change (births minus deaths) has not contributed to Scotland’s population growth. Across Scotland, there were 3,800 more deaths than births in the year to mid-2017.”

Although Scotland’s population increased 0.4% over the year, the growth rate has slowed compared to previous years.

This is due to a reduction in overall net migration (down from 31,700 people in the year to mid-2016), and an increase in the number of deaths.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General for Scotland, said: “Migration continues to be main driver of Scotland’s population growth, but in the year following the EU referendum fewer people arrived from overseas than in the previous year.

“Overall net migration, from both overseas and the rest of the UK, remained positive with more people coming to Scotland than leaving.

“The growth in Scotland’s population varies across the country – around two thirds of Scotland’s councils (21 councils) increased in population over the last year, compared to a third (11 councils) which experienced population decline.”