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Statistical News Release

Published: 23 Nov 2016 09:30

Projected Population of Scotland: Additional variants using alternative European Union migration assumptions

 

National Records of Scotland have today published additional population projections for Scotland based on varying potential levels of European Union migration.

The three additional variant projections do not have National Statistics status and have been created for illustrative purposes only. The additional variant projections are: zero future European Union migration; 50 per cent future European Union migration (50 per cent less future European Union migration); and 150 per cent future European Union migration (50 per cent more future European Union migration). Each of these variants has been produced for both Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole (including Scotland).

As migration is concentrated amongst young adult ages, the effect of varying the level of migration is greater on the number of children and people of working age than on the number of people of pension age.

The principal projection is the main projection, and if current trends continue it suggests that the population of Scotland may rise from 5.35 million in 2014 to 5.7 million in 2039 – an increase of seven per cent over the 25 year period, as shown in the Figure.                          

In the zero future European Union migration variant, the population of Scotland is projected to rise to 5.49 million in 2039 – an increase of three per cent from 2014. However under this variant, the population is projected to peak at 5.50 million in 2033 and then decline gradually after that point.

For the 50 per cent future European Union migration variant, the population of Scotland is projected to rise to 5.59 million in 2039 – an increase of five per cent from 2014. And for the 150 per cent future European Union migration variant, there is a nine per cent rise in population projected, to 5.81 million in 2039.

Figure: Percentage change in population from 2014 to 2039, principal and alternative European Union migration variant projections, United Kingdom and Scotland

percentage change in population from 2014 to 2039

Compared to Scotland, the United Kingdom’s projected population increase is more rapid, as shown in the Figure. The principal projection for the United Kingdom suggests that the population may rise from 64.6 million in 2014 to 74.3 million in 2039, an increase of 15 per cent. The more rapid increase projected for the United Kingdom also occurs for each of the additional variants, with an 11 per cent projected increase in population for the zero future European Union migration variant, a 13 per cent increase for the 50 per cent future European Union migration variant and a 17 per cent increase for the 150 per cent future European Union migration variant.

These additional variant projections, using alternative European Union migration assumptions, have been created for illustrative purposes only. Unlike the National Population Projections published by ONS on 29 October 2015 and 26 November 2015, these variant projections do not have National Statistics status. This is because the method for creating these additional migration assumptions was not subject to the same rigorous quality assurance and assessment process. National Statistics are assessed by the United Kingdom Statistics Authority as meeting the requirements of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The principal projection was published in October 2015 and the full publication is available in the Population Projections Scotland section of the NRS website.

 Notes To Editors

  1. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population and the Office for National Statistics have produced these additional variant projections for Scotland on behalf of NRS.
  2. Today’s report gives projected population figures for Scotland under alternative European Union migration assumptions. The full publication can be downloaded from Additional Variants Section on the National Population Projections page of the NRS website. More information on the National Population Projections for the United Kingdom are available from the ONS website.
  3. For the purposes of these projections, the alternative migration assumptions were assumed to start affecting the level of migration from mid-2018 onwards. This is based on the assumption that this might be the first mid-year point prior to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
  4. Each of the variants uses the same assumptions as the principal projection up until mid-2018 and are therefore exactly the same up until this point. However, at this point they diverge as different overseas migration assumptions are applied from mid-2018 onwards. The overseas migration is then adjusted for each of the three additional variants after this point to account for different scenarios regarding future migration between Scotland and European Union countries after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
  5. Further statistics on Scotland’s population can be accessed in the Statistics section of the NRS website.
  6. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. General information about population statistics can be accessed in the About our Statistics section of the NRS website.