Demographics of Scotland

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Scotland covers an area of 78,782km² or 30,341mi², giving it a population density of 64 people/km². Around 70% of the country's population live in the Central Lowlands - a broad, fertile valley stretching in a northeast-southwest orientation between the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and including major settlements such as Stirling, Falkirk, Perth and Dundee. Other concentrations of population include, the northeast coast of Scotland - principally surrounding the city of Aberdeen and its environs, and around Inverness. The Highlands of Scotland have the lowest population density at 8 people/km². The City of Glasgow has the highest population density at 3,292 people/km².

Estimating the population of Scotland, as well as recording births, deaths and marriages in Scotland is overseen by the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), headed by the Registrar-General for Scotland. Under the terms of the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act 1965, the Registrar-General must present an annual report of demographic trends to Scottish Ministers (previously the Secretary of State for Scotland prior to devolution). In conjunction with the rest of the United Kingdom a decadal census of population is carried out - the last one being 2001, the next taking place in 2011.


[edit] Population data

Evolution of the population of Scotland 1981-2005. Data from General Register Office for Scotland 2005; number of inhabitants in millions.

Total residents:

  • 5,094,800 (2005 est)
  • 5,078,400 (2004 est)
  • 5,057,400 (2003 est)
  • 5,054,800 (2002 est)
  • 5,062,011 (2001 est)
  • 5,083,000 (1991 est)
  • 5,180,200 (1981 est)
  • 5,234,000 (1971 est)
  • 5,201,000 (1961 est)

Figures from the decennial Census are as follows-

  • 1801 1,608,420
  • 1811 1,805,864
  • 1821 2,091,521
  • 1831 2,364,386
  • 1841 2,620,184
  • 1851 2,888,742
  • 1861 3,062,294
  • 1871 3,360,018
  • 1881 3,735,573
  • 1891 4,025,647
  • 1901 4,472,103
  • 1911 4,760,904
  • 1921 4,882,497
  • 1931 4,842,554
  • 1951 5,096,000

According to the annual estimates of the General Register Office of Scotland, in 2005, Scotland had a total resident population of 5,094,800 - an increase of 16,400 on the previous year and an increase of 40,000 since mid-2002. The total population was split between 2,456,109 males and 2,638,691 females.

Birth rate: 10.7 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate: 11.0 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.4% (2005 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.8 years
male: 74.2 years
female: 79.3 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2005 est.)

Religions: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Judaism

Languages: English, Scots and Gaelic

Marriages: 32,154 (2004 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2005 est)

Nationality noun

  • Scot(s)


[edit] Population Projections

Image:Wfm buchanan street.jpg
People on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. Scotland's population is getting older as many baby boomers approach retirement

Since the census of 2001, the Scottish Executive and leading academics in Scotland, have expressed concern over the falling number of births in Scotland and the ageing and declining of the population, a process which has been taking place over recent decades. Scotland's population reached its peak in the mid-1970's, and has slowly declined since that time to its current total of 5.1m. The major reason is seen to be due to significant out-migration from Scotland - particularly to the rest of the United Kingdom - although recent years have seen that trend reversed with significant in-migration to Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom [1]. Similarly, since 2004 there has been a large influx of arrivals from the new EU accession states such as Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Latvia, contributing to the recent growth of the population.

Compounding the problem of a declining and ageing population, in Scotland is falling fertility and birth rates - a feature common to much of Europe. Scotland's population is also getting older - as the large quotient of individuals born in the post war period - 1950s and 1960s near retirement. A common fear amongst commentators is the strain this could pose to the nation's resources, with a smaller working population generating insufficient resources, to support a high number of retirees and dependents.

In 2002 according to GROS, the number of births in Scotland was the lowest ever recorded with 51,270 live births recorded. This, has however steadily risen with 53,957 births recorded in 2004, and an even higher number of births in 2005 [2]. Since 1997 Scotland has generally experienced a natural decrease in population, with an excess of deaths over births. In 2004, for example, there were 4012 more deaths than births.

The Scottish Executive has responded to these demographic trends by setting up the Fresh Talent - Working in Scotland Scheme open to foreign (non-EU) graduates from Scotland's universities allowing them a 2 year residency period after graduation.[3]

Within Scotland itself there is significant regional variation in patterns of population growth, with areas such as Aberdeenshire (1.1%) Edinburgh (0.9%), Clackmannanshire (0.8%) Falkirk (1.1%), Perth and Kinross (0.6%) and West Lothian (0.6%) seeing the largest increases in population, between 2004 and 2005. Conversely Aberdeen City (-0.5%), West Dunbartonshire (-0.6%) and East Dunbartonshire (-0.6%) have seen the largest falls in population. The Highlands have also seen a significant rise in population over recent years, compared with the last 200 years, in which the area lost large volumes of people, due to persistently high rates of emigration particularly to places such as Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

In December 2005, GROS published a series of population projections which showed that Scotland's population is expected to rise between now and the year 2038, with both the numbers of births and deaths expected to drop. Immigration is expected to remain steady, positive and constant.[4]

[edit] Council Area Population Estimates

Further information: Subdivisions of Scotland
Area Population Estimates in Scotland (2005)
Local Council Area Population Estimates (as at 30 June 2005) % change 2004 - 2005
Aberdeen City 202,370 -0.5
Aberdeenshire 235,440 +1.1
Angus 109,170 +0.6
Argyll and Bute 90,870 -0.4
Clackmannanshire 48,630 +0.8
Dumfries and Galloway 148,340 +0.3
Dundee City 142,170 +0.2
East Ayrshire 119,400 -0.3
East Dunbartonshire 105,960 -0.6
East Lothian 91,800 +0.2
East Renfrewshire 89,600 0.0
Edinburgh 457,830 +0.9
Eilean Siar 26,370 +0.4
Falkirk 149,150 +1.1
Fife 356,470 +0.6
Glasgow 578,790 +0.2
Highland 213,590 +1.1
Inverclyde 82,130 -0.4
Midlothian 79,190 -0.5
Moray 88,120 +0.5
North Ayrshire 135,830 -0.1
North Lanarkshire 323,420 +0.2
Orkney Islands 19,590 +0.5
Perth and Kinross 138,400 +0.6
Renfrewshire 170,000 -0.4
Scottish Borders 109,730 +0.4
Shetland Islands 22,000 +0.3
South Ayrshire 111,780 -0.1
South Lanarkshire 306,280 +0.3
Stirling 86,930 +0.6
West Dunbartonshire 91,400 -0.6
West Lothian 163,780 +0.6

[edit] Social problems

Scotland is reported to have the second highest murder rate in Western Europe and people living in Scotland are more than three times as likely to be killed than those in England and Wales. [5]. Rising levels of violence in Scotland have been aggravated by alcohol and drug abuse, gang culture. Almost half of all murders in Scotland are committed by people under the influence of drugs or drink [6].

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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