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News Release

Population Projections for Scotlandís Council Areas


3 February 2010

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Scotlandís expected population increase is likely to be unevenly spread across the country, according to a report issued today by the Registrar General for Scotland.

Commenting on the report, the Registrar General Duncan Macniven said:

ďOver the next 25 years, we expect the population of Scotland to increase by about 7 per cent. But East Lothian is likely to grow almost five times as much, while we expect that the number of people in Inverclyde and East Dunbartonshire will fall by more than a tenth.Ē

The report concentrates on the period between 2008 and 2033. Its main conclusions are that:

  • the population of 19 of the 32 council areas in Scotland is projected to increase, while the population in the other 13 is projected to decrease. The council areas with the greatest projected increase in population are East Lothian (+33 per cent) and Perth & Kinross (+27 per cent). Inverclyde (-18 per cent) and East Dunbartonshire (-13 per cent) have the largest projected decreases;†
  • every council area is projected to have more elderly people than today, though the scale of the increase will vary;

  • the number of children aged 0-15 is projected to decrease in 20 of the 32 council areas, with the largest percentage decreases in Shetland (-33 per cent) and Inverclyde (-29 per cent). The biggest increases are projected in East Lothian (+38 per cent) and Perth & Kinross (+24 per cent);

  • the population of working age is projected to increase in 15 council areas and decrease in 17 Ė increasing the most in East Lothian (+29 per cent) and decreasing the most in Inverclyde (-26 per cent);

  • the population of pensionable age is projected to increase in all council areas, the largest increases being projected in Aberdeenshire (+65 per cent) and West Lothian (+59 per cent), with the smallest increase in Dundee City (+8 per cent) and Glasgow City (+11 per cent);

  • it is hard to predict how many people might migrate to Scotland. The high migration projection shows what would happen if Scotland were to gain larger numbers through migration than expected. The populations in 26 councils would rise under this variant. The greatest increase is again projected in East Lothian (+38 per cent) and Perth & Kinross (+37 per cent) and the largest decrease again in Inverclyde (-14 per cent) and East Dunbartonshire (-11 per cent); and

  • the low migration projection shows the population if Scotland were to gain smaller numbers through migration than expected. The populations in 15 councils are expected to rise under this variant. The greatest increase is again projected in East Lothian (+29 per cent) and Perth & Kinross (+25 per cent) and the largest decrease again in Inverclyde (-20 per cent) and East Dunbartonshire (-17 per cent).

The full report, 2008-based Population Projections for Scottish Areas, can be viewed on this website.


Page last updated: 29 January 2010


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