Population growth slows amid impact of pandemic

The Scottish population was estimated to be 5.47 million as of June 30 last year.

Population growth slows amid impact of pandemic Jane Barlow via PA Wire
Population growth slowed during the onset of the pandemic, figures show.

The impact of coronavirus has led to a slowing of Scotland’s population growth, statistics show.

The population grew by 0.05% in the year to June 2020, the slowest rate since 2003.

This was mainly due to higher numbers of deaths and lower net migration, the National Record of Scotland (NRS) said.

It meant Scotland’s population was estimated to be 5.47 million as of June 30 last year.

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There were an estimated 63,100 deaths and 48,700 births in the previous 12 months.

This equates to about 14,500 more deaths than births – the largest natural decrease on record.

Population change varied around Scotland, and the 12 council areas which saw overall population growth were around the central belt.

Glasgow’s population has risen to 635,640, continuing the steady increase in the number of people living in the city since the lowest figure in modern times of 578,000 in 2001.

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Esther Roughsedge, head of population and migration statistics at NRS, said: “In the year to June 2020, Scotland’s population only increased very slightly – by 2700 people – and is now estimated to be 5.47 million as of June 2020.

“A key reason for this small increase is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the last year we have seen a 4% reduction in births and a 12% increase in deaths.

“Also, the difference between the number of people coming to Scotland and those leaving is smaller than in any of the previous six years.”

The NRS report also noted the pandemic had an impact on data sources, as certain international air passenger data was not available beyond March 2020.

A separate report from NRS, also released on Friday, found the number of households in Scotland increased to 2.51 million in 2020.