Scotland’s population is expected to grow by 2 percent to 5.54 million in the decade up to 2028 – but more council areas will experience population decline than in previous years.
The latest National Records of Scotland (NRS) analysis shows migration has been - and will continue to be - a major driver in population changes for most parts of the country.
Scotland’s overall population grew by 4 percent to 5.46 million between mid-2009 and the end of June 2019, with a further 2 percent growth projected in the decade up to mid-2028 to 5.54 million.
Here, we list the variation in projected population changes between Scotland’s council areas in terms of highest growth and decline, for the decade up to 2028.
It is worth noting these predictions do not take into account recent changes, such as the increase in deaths due to Covid-19 or the changes to migration as a result of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
13.8% population growth has been projected for Midlothian between mid-2018 and mid-2028, following the 12.9% population growth in the area between mid-2009 and mid-2019. A major driver of this is migration from elsewhere in Scotland, with nearly 10,600 more people expected to move to the region during the decade up to 2028. Photo: Stefano Valeri
2. East Lothian
East Lothian is projected to have the second highest population growth at 7.2%, slightly less than the 8.9% growth seen from mid-2009 to mid-2019. Net internal migration is the main driver of this, with 7,000 more people projected to arrive than leave the region from other parts of Scotland. Photo: Ian Rutherford
Edinburgh's current population of 524,930 is projected to rise to 552,585 - a 6.6% increase - by mid-2028. A NRS spokesperson said migration - mainly from overseas and then other parts of the UK - is the main driver in this and, unlike many other councils, there have been more births than deaths here. Photo: JPI Media
4. East Renfrewshire
6.4% increase projected in East Renfrewshire. Photo: David Falconer