Migration to drive 90% of Scotland’s population rise over next decade

Scotland's population is set to rise by around 350,00 by 2039
Scotland's population is set to rise by around 350,00 by 2039
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By 2025, it is expected that around 15,000 people a year will choose to stay in Scotland, with net migration levels to peak in the late 2020s.

Of the new arrivals, 32 per cent will come from other parts of the UK with 57 per cent coming from the rest of their world to make their home here.

Although Scotland’s birth rate and inward net migration levels have recently fallen, they are still high by historic standards.

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Chief Executive of National Records Scotland

Migration - typically younger people on the move - is seen as key to Scotland’s economic strength given the rise in the older population and a slow down in birth rates.

Over the next decade, just 10 ten per cent of the projected increase in Scotland’s population can be attributed to the natural shift of more births than deaths being recorded.

Around 1,000 fewer babies are predicted to be born each year in Scotland when compared to 2013-2014, when 56,700 births were recorded.

Meanwhile, The number of over 75s will double by 2039 to about 800,000 with the working age population predict to remain static.

While Scotland has historically been a country of net out-migration - with more people leaving the country than coming in - a reverse has been recorded since 2000.

Net migration in Scotland peaked in 2005 following the enlargement of the European Union the previous year.

Then around 32,000 migrants settled in Scotland but the figure fell away to around 10,000 by 2011.

The figure is due to rise steadily to 15,000 by 2024 and peak at 15,300 in the late 2020s.

It is expected to fall back again to around 15,000 by the mid 2030s.

Separate research has found that Aberdeen and Edinburgh experience the biggest net-migration rises in Scotland

Overall, the population of Scotland is projected to rise from 5.35 million in 2014 to 5.51

million in 2024, and rising to 5.7 million in 2039.

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Chief Executive of National Records Scotland said: “The latest population projections indicate that while Scotland’s population is expected to reach record levels for years to come, it is not projected to be quite as high as the previous set of projections suggested.

“Scotland’s population is projected to continue to rise into the future because although Scotland’s birth rate and inward net migration levels have recently fallen, they are still high by historic standards. Also people at older ages are expected to live longer.”