Migration boost as population hits record 5.37m

Scotland’s population reached a record 5.37 million people in 2015, boosted by 85,000 people who came to Scotland from the rest of the UK and from overseas, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

About 57,000 left Scotland to move to the rest of the UK and overseas last year, resulting in a net population boost of 28,000.

There were 55,098 births registered in Scotland in 2015, which was 1,627 or 2.9% fewer than 2014, continuing the downward trend over the five years prior to 2014.

There were 29,691 marriages in Scotland in 2015.

Of these, 1,671 were same-sex marriages following The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 coming into force on December 16, 2014.

About 56% of the same sex marriages were couples who changed their existing civil partnerships to marriage.

The average age at which people marry for the first time has increased by around two years since 2005 — to 33.6 years for men and 31.9 years for women in 2015.

Life expectancy in Scotland has improved more slowly than in the rest of the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Life expectancy of those born around 2014 is now 77.1 years for males and 81.1 years for females.

Tim Ellis, Registrar General of Scotland, said: “The figures produced by National Records of Scotland paint a picture of our nation in 2015 …

“This year’s figures show our population is still increasing, mostly due to migration, and in 2015 was at its highest ever at 5,373,000 people. The population is continuing to age and this change will bring both opportunities and challenges in the years ahead.

“As well as more people moving to Scotland than leaving, fewer babies were born during 2015 and there were more deaths than in 2014.

“The most common causes of death are still cancer, respiratory system diseases and ischaemic (coronary) heart disease.

“Although mortality rates in Scotland have generally fallen more slowly than in the rest of the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the improvements over the last 60 years are still considerable and the impact is reflected in the increase in expectation of life.

“Despite these improvements, inequalities remain within Scotland.

“For example, males born around 2012 in the 10% least deprived areas in Scotland could expect to live 12.5 years more than males born in the 10% most deprived areas.”