The 2011 census report on Scotland’s population prompts observations highly relevant to the issue of Scottish independence.
Between 1951 and 2001, when the British state was its most centralised, the population of Scotland actually fell while the population of England rose by 20 per cent.
Now, after the first decade of devolution, the population of Scotland has risen by 5 per cent while the population of England has risen by 7 per cent.
We have a long way to go, though, to make up for our relative decline under 305 years of Union. In 1707, the population of Scotland was 20 per cent of that of England. Now the population of Scotland is 10 per cent of that of England.
Only independence – or perhaps a devo-max that simply isn’t on the table – can fully unleash Scotland’s potential and close the gap.
Tranent, East Lothian