Scotland's birth and death rates should prompt politicians to think about ways to help families have more children – Scotsman comment

Scotland’s population would be falling without new arrivals from the rest of the UK and beyond

Between Census Day on March 20, 2022, and the end of June that year, 12,900 babies were born and 17,100 people died in Scotland. And as the number of native-born Scots gets smaller, our population is also getting older with 20 per cent of people over 65, compared to 16 per cent under the age of 16.

However, fortunately ‘new Scots’ – immigrants – and returnees more than made up the difference. While 13,900 people left Scotland, 25,8000 came to this country, which tells us that, despite an array of problems, this isn’t such a bad place to live. Nevertheless, it is worth thinking about why deaths are outstripping births by quite so much.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Obstacles to having children include the cost of housing, with many couples needing two incomes to pay their mortgage, and the high cost of childcare. In other countries, such as France, people receive substantial tax breaks if they have children. Given economic growth and the ability to pay pensions are linked to the size of the working-age population, this makes sense. Something for high-tax Scotland to at least consider.

Related topics:



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