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Last updated: May 2012
The latest estimate of Scotlandís population (as at 30 June 2011) is 5,254,800 Ė the highest ever and an increase of 32,700 people on the previous year. There are 200,000 more people in Scotland compared with mid-2002 when the population dropped to its lowest level in recent times.
The increase in Scotlandís population has been driven mostly by net in-migration although, in the last five years, there have also been more births than deaths. In the twelve months to 30 June 2011, in-migration exceeded out-migration by 27,000. This included a net gain of around 2,900 from the rest of the UK and a net gain of around 25,400 from overseas and a net loss of 1,400 due to movements between the armed forces and the civilian population. Other changes (including changes in the prison population, and changes in the number of armed forces stationed in Scotland) amounted to a decrease of 900 people. In the same period, there were 4,809 more births than deaths (58,766 births and 53,957 deaths), the number of births having decreased slightly and the number of deaths having increased slightly compared with the year to end June 2010.
The rise in Scotlandís population in the last nine years should be seen in the context of the relative stability of the population over the last 50 years. The population reached a peak of 5.24 million in 1974 before falling to 5.05 million in mid-2002 and then rising to a new high over the last nine years.
Estimated population of Scotland, 1951-2011
Mid 2011 Population Estimates Scotland (National Records of Scotland website)
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