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