Scotland's population swelled by migration

Buchanan Street crowds Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Most of the population increase on last year is down to migration from other parts of the UK

Scotland's population was at its highest level last year, according to official figures.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) said the estimated population of Scotland on 30 June 2015 was 5,373,000.

The increase on 2014 was mainly down to migration, with 85,000 people coming to Scotland and 57,000 leaving.

There were 55,098 births registered - 2.9% fewer than the year before - and 57,579 deaths. The net increase in population is about 25,000.

The NRS said the migrants arriving in Scotland had mainly come from other parts of the UK.

The decline in the number of births registered resumes the downward trend over the five years prior to 2014.

Scotland's population in 2015


Net increase (includes population changes in prison and armed forces)

  • 85,000 came to Scotland

  • 57,000 left Scotland

  • 57,579 deaths registered

  • 55,098 births registered


Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said: "The registrar general's Annual Review has been published since 1855, and over that time my predecessors have faithfully recorded the state of our nation, and told our story - one of changes, both big and small.

"The population in 1855 was 2,978,065. 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."

The main causes of death in Scotland last year were cancer (16,093), respiratory system diseases (7,669) and coronary heart disease (7,142).

Mr Ellis added: "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."

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The number of births registered in Scotland declined in 2015

As well as birth, deaths and migration, the annual review records the number of marriages and the NRS said there were 29,691 in Scotland last year.

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

There were 2,430,000 households in Scotland, which is an increase of around 160,000 over the past 10 years.

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