Covid Scotland: Population growth slowest since 2003 during pandemic

Scotland’s population grew at the slowest rate in two decades last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures show.

Mid-year estimates from June 2019 to June 2020 show Scotland’s population increased by just 2,700 people – a growth of 0.05 per cent.

National Records for Scotland, which published the figures, said the Covid pandemic was a key reason for the slow growth.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

More deaths than usual have been recorded, while the birth rate is lower and the net migration has also reduced.

Pedestrians on Edinburgh's Princes Street. (Photo by LESLEY MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Pedestrians on Edinburgh's Princes Street. (Photo by LESLEY MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The average growth in the previous five years – to June 2019 – was much higher, at around 23,000 people each year.

For the past six years deaths have outnumbered births, but the gap last year was the largest on record.

There were 63,100 deaths and 48,700 births in the year ending June 2020 – 14,500 more deaths than births.

Net migration was lower than previous years, but the number of people coming into the country was greater than the number of those leaving it. Some 16,900 more people moved to Scotland than left in the year to June 2020.

Most council areas saw population decline, with just 12 out of 32 seeing population growth. These areas were mainly across the Central Belt.

Read More

Read More
One woman dead and 430 affected by error in cervical screening programme

Esther Roughsedge, head of population and migration dtatistics at National Records of Scotland, said: “In the year to June 2020, Scotland’s population only increased very slightly – by 2,700 people – and is now estimated to be 5.47 million as of June 2020.

“A key reason for this small increase is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last year we have seen a 4 per cent reduction in births and a 12 per cent increase in deaths.”

She added: “Also, the difference between the number of people coming to Scotland and those leaving is smaller than in any of the previous six years.”

The latest figures from NRS show in the past 18 months 10,150 deaths have been recorded in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There have been 7,706 deaths within 28 days of someone testing positive for the virus.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.